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THE 
LIFE*OF PASTEUR 

BY RENÉ VALLERY-RADOT 

TRANSLATED FROM THE 

FRENCH BY MRS. R. L. 

DEVONSHIRE 

VOL II 



L'oeuvre de Pasteur est admirable ; elle montre son 
génie, mais it faut avoir vécu dans son intimité pour 
connaître toute la bonté de son coeur. — Dr, Roux 



/ 



NEW YORK 
McCLURE, PHILLIPS AND CO 

1902 



Butler & Tanner, 

The Selwood Printing Works, 

Frome, and London. 



SO 7 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME TWO 

CHAPTER I 

1873— 1877 

Pasteur elected to the Académie de Médecine, 4. General Condition 
of Medicine, 5. Surgery before Pasteur, 15. Influence of his 
Work, 18. Letter from Lister, 20. Debates at the Académie de 
Médecine, 23 ; Science and Religion, 28. National Testimonial, 
30. Pasteur a Candidate for the Senate, 33. Speech at the Milan 
Congress of Sériciculture, 35. Letter from Tyndall, 39. Dis- 
cussion with Dr. Bastian, 41. 

CHAPTER n 
1877— 1879 

Charbon, or Splenic Fever, 45 ; Pasteur studies it, 48. Traditional 
Medicine and Pastorian Doctrines, 53, Progress of Surgery, 57. 
The word Microbe invented, 57 ; renewed Attacks against Pasteur, 
59. Charbon given to Hens — experiment before the Académie 
de Médecine, 60. Pasteur's Note on the Germ Theory, 64. 
Campaign of Researches on Charbon, 68. Critical Examination 
of a posthumous Note by Claude Bernard, 76. Pasteur in the 
Hospitals, 86 ; Puerperal Fever, 87. 

CHAPTER III 

1880— 1882 

Chicken Cholera, 97. Attenuation of the Virus, 100. Suggested Re- 
searches on the bubonic Plague, 102. The Share of Earthworms 
in the Development of Charbon, 106 ; an Incident at the Académie 
de Médecine, 113. The Vaccine of Charbon, 1 16 ; public Experiment 
at Pouilly le Fort on the Vaccination of Splenic Fever, 123. First 

V 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME TWO 

Experiments on Hydrophobia, 125. Death of Sainte-Claire 
Deville, 136 ; Pasteur's Speech, 137. Pasteur at the London 
Medical Congress, 139 ; Virchow and Antivivisection, 143. Yellow 
Fever, 150; Pasteur at Pauillac, 151. 

CHAPTER IV 
1882— 1884 

Pasteur elected a Member of the Académie Française, 155 ; his Opinions 
on Positivism, 157 ; J. B. Dumas and Nisard, his Sponsors, 159 ; 
Pasteur welcomed by Renan into the Académie Française, 161. 
Homage from Melun, from Aubenas, 167 ; Pasteur at Nîmes and 
at MontpeUier, 171. Speech of J. B. Dumas, 173 ; Pasteur's Answer, 
174. Pasteur at the Geneva Conference of Hygiene, 177. Studies 
on the Rouget of Pigs — Journey to Bollène, 180. Typhoid Fever and 
the Champions of old Medical Methods, 185. Pasteur and the Turin 
Veterinary School, 190. Marks of Gratitude from Agriculturists, 
196; Pasteur at Aurillac, 197. Another Testimonial of national 
Gratitude, 199 ; a commemorative Plate on the House where Pasteur 
was born, 201 ; his Speech at the Ceremony, 202. Cholera, 204 ; 
French Mission to Alexandria, 205. Death of Thuillier, 207. 
J. B. Dumas' last Letter to Pasteur, 211. Third Centenary of 
the University of Edinburgh — the French Delegation, 212 ; 
Ovation to Pasteur, 214 ; Pasteur's Speech, 215. 

CHAPTER V 
1884— 1885 ^ 

The Hydrophobia Problem, 219 ; preventive Inoculations on Dogs, 226. 
Experiments on Hydrophobia verified by a Commission, 227. The 
Copenhagen Medical Congress, Pasteur in Denmark, 231, In- 
stallation at Villeneuve l'Etang of a Branch Establishment of 
Pasteur's Laboratory, 240. Former Remedies against Hydrophobia, 
241. Kennels at Villeneuve l'Etang, 245. 

CHAPTER VI 
1885—1888 

First Antirabic Inoculation on Man, 249 ; the little Alsatian Boy, Joseph 

vi 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME TWO 

Meister, 251. Pasteur at Arbois ; his Speech for the Welcome of 
Joseph Bertrand, succeeding J. B. Dumas at the Académie Française, 
255. Perraud the Sculptor, 258. Inoculation of the Shepherd 
Jupille, 259 ; the Discovery of the Preventive Treatment of Rabies 
announced to the Académie des Sciences and the Académie de 
Médecine, 260. Death of Louise Pelletier, 265 ; Pasteur's Solici- 
tude for inoculated Patients, 266. Foundation of the Pasteur 
Institute, 268 ; the Russians from Smolensk, 269 ; English Commis- 
sion for the Verification of the Inoculations against Hydrophobia, 
271. Fête at the Trocadéro, 272. Temporary Buildings in the rue 
Vauquelin for the Treatment of Hydrophobia, 273. Ill-health of 
Pasteur, 275 ; his Stay at Bordighera, 276. Foundation of the 
Annals of the Pasteur Institute, 277. Discussions on Rabies at the 
Académie de Médecine, 277. Earthquake at Bordighera, 279. 
Pasteur returns to France, 280. Report of the English Commission 
on the Treatment of Rabies, 280. Pasteur elected Permanent 
Secretary of the Académie des Sciences, 2 82 ; his Resignation, 283. 
Inauguration of the Pasteur Institute, 284. 

CHAPTER VII 
1888— 1895 

Influence of Pasteur's Labours, 290 ; his Jubilee, 293 ; Speech, 296. 
Pasteur's Name given to a District in Canada and to a Village in 
Algeria, 298. Diphtheria, M. Roux' Studies in Sero-Therapy, 300 ; 
Pasteur at Lille. Lecture by M. Roux on Sero-Therapy, 304 ; 
repeated at the Buda-Pesth Congress, 305. Subscription for the 
Organization of the Antidiphtheritic Treatment, 305. Pasteur's 
Disciples, 306. Pasteur's Illness, 307 ; Visit from Alexandre Dumas, 
309 ; Visit from former Ecole Normale Students, 310. Pasteur 
refuses a German Decoration, 311. Conversations with Chappuis, 
312. Departure for Villeneuve l'Etang, 313 ; last Weeks, 314. 
Project for a Pasteur Hospital, 314. Death of Pasteur 315. 

The ENk 



Vll 



CHAPTER I 
I 873-1 877 

PASTEUR had glimpses of another world beyond the 
phenomena of fermentation — the world of virus 
ferments. Two centuries earlier, an English physicist, 
Robert Boyle, had said that he who could probe to the 
bottom the nature of ferments and fermentation would 
probably be more capable than any one of explaining 
certain morbid phenomena. These words often recurred 
to the mind of Pasteur, who had, concerning the problem 
of contagious diseases, those sudden flashes of light wherein 
genius is revealed. But, ever insisting on experimental 
proofs, he constrained his exalted imagination so as to 
follow calmly and patiently the road of experimental 
method. He could not bear the slightest error, or even 
hasty interpretation, in the praises addressed to him. One 
day, during the period of the most ardent polemics, in the 
midst of the struggle on spontaneous generation, a medical 
man named Déclat, who declared that Pasteur's experi- 
ments were " the glory of our century and the salvation of 
future generations," gave a lecture on " The Infinitesimally 
Small and their Rôle in the World." " After the lecture," 
relates Dr. Déclat himself, "M. Pasteur, whom I only knew 
by name, came to me, and, after the usual compliments, 
condemned the inductions I had drawn from his experi- 
ments. ' The arguments,' he said, ' by which you support 

VOL. II. I B 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

my theories, are most ingenious, but not founded on 
demonstrated facts; analogy is no proof.'" 

Pasteur used to speak very modestly of his work. He 
said, in a speech to some Arbois students, that it was 
" through assiduous work, with no special gift but that of 
perseverance joined to an attraction towards all that is 
great and good," that he had met with success in his 
researches. He did not add that an ardent kindness of 
heart was ever urging him forward. After the services 
rendered within the last ten years to vinegar makers, silk- 
worm cultivators, vine growers, and brewers, he now 
wished to tackle what he had had in his mind since 1861 — 
the study of contagious diseases. Thus, with the consis- 
tent logic of his mind, showing him as it did the pos- 
sibility of realizing in the future Robert Boyle's prophecy, 
he associated the secret power of his feelings ; not to 
give those feelings their share would be to leave one side 
of his nature entirely in the shade. He had himself re- 
vealed this great factor in his character when he had 
said, " It would indeed be a grand thing to give the heart 
its share in the progress of science." He was ever giving 
it a greater share in his work. 

His sorrows had only made him incline the more towards 
the griefs of others. The memory of the children he had 
lost, the mournings he had witnessed, caused him to 
passionately desire that there might be fewer empty places 
in desolate homes, and that this might be due to the applica- 
tion of methods derived from his discoveries, of which he 
foresaw the immense bearings on pathology. Beyond this, 
patriotism being for him a ruling motive, he thought of the 
thousands of young men lost to France every year, victims 
of the tiny germs of murderous diseases. And, at the thought 
of epidemics and the heavy tax they levy on the whole 
world, his compassion extended itself to all human suffering. 

2 



I873-I877 

He regretted that he was not a medical man, fancying 
that it might have facilitated his task. It was true that, 
at every incursion on the domain of Medicine, he was 
looked upon as a chemist — a chymiastev^ some said — who 
was poaching on the preserves of others. The distrust 
felt by the physicians in the chemists was of a long stand- 
ing. In the Traité de Thérapeutique, published in 1855 by 
Trousseau and Pidoux, we find this passage : " When a 
chemist has seen the chemical conditions of respiration, of 
digestion, or of the action of some drug, he thinks he has 
given the theory of those functions and phenomena. It is 
ever the same delusion which chemists will never get over. 
We must make up our minds to that, but let us beware of 
trying to profit by the precious researches which they 
would probably never undertake if they were not stimu- 
lated by the ambition of explaining what is outside their 
range." Pidoux never retrenched anything from two other 
phrases, also to be found in that same treatise : " Between 
a physiological fact and a pathological fact there is the 
same difference as between a mineral and a vegetable " ; 
and : " It is not within the power of physiology to explain 
the simplest pathological affection." Trousseau, on the 
other hand, was endowed with the far-seeing intelligence 
of a great physician attentive to the progress of science. 
He was greatly interested in Pasteur's work, and fully ap- 
preciated the possibilities opened by each of his discoveries. 

Pasteur, with the simplicity which contrasted with his 
extraordinary powers, supposed that, if he were armed with 
diplomas, he would have greater authority to direct Medi- 
cine towards the study of the conditions of existence ot 
phenomena, and — correlatively to the traditional method of 
observation, which consists in knowing and describing 
exactly the course of the disease — to inspire practitioners 
with the desire to prevent and to determine its cause. An 

3 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

unexpected offer went some way towards filling what he 
considered as a blank. At the beginning of the year 1873, 
a place was vacant in the section of the Free Associates of 
the Academy of Medicine. He was asked to stand for it, 
and hastened to accept. He was elected with a majority 
of only one vote, though he had been first on the section's 
list. The other suffrages were divided between Messrs. 
Le Roy de Méricourt, Brochin, Lhéritier, and Bertillon. 

Pasteur, as soon as he was elected, promised himself that 
he would be a most punctual academician. It was on a 
Tuesday in April that he attended his first meeting. As 
he walked towards the desk allotted to him, his paralyzed 
left leg dragging a little, no one among his colleagues 
suspected that this quiet and unassuming new member 
would become the greatest revolutionary ever known in 
Medicine. 

One thing added to Pasteur's pleasure in being elected— 
the fact that he would join Claude Bernard. The latter 
had often felt somewhat forlorn in that centre, where some 
hostility was so often to be seen towards all that was 
outside the Clinic. This was the time when the " princes 
of science," or those who were considered as such, were all 
physicians. Every great physician was conscious of being 
a ruling power. The almost daily habit of advising and 
counselling was added to that idea of haughty or benevolent 
superiority to the rest of the world; and, accustomed to 
dictate his wishes, the physician frequently adopted an 
authoritative tone and became a sort of personage. " Have 
you noticed," said Claude Bernard to Pasteur with a smile 
under which many feelings were hidden, " that, when a 
doctor enters a room, he always looks as if he was going to 
say, ' I have just been saving a fellow-man ' ? " 

Pasteur knew not those harmless shafts which are a 
revenge for prolonged pomposity. Why need Claude 

4 



I873-I877 

Bernard trouble to wonder what So-and-so might think? 
He had the consciousness of the work accomplished and the 
esteem and admiration of men whose suffrage more than 
satisfied him. Whilst Pasteur was already desirous of 
spreading in the Académie de Médecine the faith which 
inspired him, Claude Bernard remembered the refrac- 
tory state of mind of those who, at the time of his first 
lectures on experimental physiology applied to medicine, 
affirmed that " physiology can be of no practical use in 
medicine ; it is but a science de luxe which could well be 
dispensed with." He energetically defended this science de 
luxe as the very science of life. In his opening lecture at 
the Museum in 1870, he said that " descriptive anatomy is 
to physiology as geography to history ; and, as it is not 
sufficient to understand the topography of a country to 
know its history, so is it not enough to know the anatomy 
of an organ to understand its functions." Méry, an old 
surgeon, familiarly compared anatomists to those errand 
boys in large towns, who know the names of the streets 
and the numbers of the houses, but do not know what goes 
on inside. There are indeed in tissues and organs physico- 
chemical phenomena for which anatomy cannot account. 

Claude Bernard was convinced that Medicine would grad- 
ually emerge from quackery, and this by means of the 
experimental method, like all other science. '' No doubt," 
he said, " we shall not live to see the blossoming out of 
scientific medicine, but such is the fate of humanity ; those 
that sow on the field of science are not destined to reap the 
fruit of their labours." And so saying, Claude Bernard 
continued to sow. 

It is true that here and there flashes of light had preceded 
Pasteur ; but, instead of being guided by them, most doctors 
continued to advance majestically in the midst of darkness. 
Whenever murderous diseases, scourges of humanity, were 

5 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

in question, long French or Latin words were put forward, 
such as " Epidemic genius," fattim, quid igjwttan quid 
diviimm, etc. Medical constitution was also a useful word, 
elastic and applicable to anything. 

When the Val de Grâce ph3^sician, Villemin — a modest, 
gentle-voiced man, who, under his quiet exterior, hid a 
veritable thirst for scientific truth — after experimental 
researches carried on from 1865 to 1869, brought the proof 
that tuberculosis is a disease which reproduces itself, and 
cannot be reproduced but by itself; in a word, specific, 
inoculable, and contagious, he was treated almost as a 
perturber of medical order. 

Dr. Pidoux, an ideal representative of traditional medi- 
cine, with his gold-buttoned blue coat and his reputation 
equall}-^ great in Paris and at the Eaux-Bonnes, declared 
that the idea of specificity was a fatal thought. Himself a 
pillar of the doctrine of diathesis . and of the morbid spon- 
taneity of the organism, he exclaimed in some much 
applauded speeches: "Tuberculosis! but that is the com- 
mon result of a quantity of divers external and internal 
causes, not the product of a specific agent ever the same ! " 
Was not this disease to be looked upon as " one and multi- 
ple at the same time, bringing the same final conclusion, 
the necrobiotic and infecting destruction of the plasmatic 
tissue of an organ by a number of roads which the hygien- 
ist and physician must endeavour to close." Where would 
these specificity doctrines lead to? "Applied to chronic 
diseases, these doctrines condemn us to the research of 
specific remedies or vaccines, and all progress is arrested. 
. . . Specificity immobilizes medicine." These phrases 
were reproduced by the medical press. 

The bacillus of tuberculosis had not been discovered by 
Villemin ; it was only found and isolated much later, in 
1882, by Dr. Koch ; but Villemin suspected the existence 

6 



I873-I877 

of a virus. In order to demonstrate the infectious nature 
of tuberculosis, he experimented on animals, multiplying 
inoculations ; he took the sputum of tuberculous patients, 
spread it on cotton wool, dried it, and then made the cotton 
wool into a bed for little guinea-pigs, who became tuber- 
culous. Pidoux answered these precise facts by declaring 
that Villemin was fascinated by inoculation, adding ironi- 
cally, " Then all we doctors have to do is to set out nets 
to catch the sporules of tuberculosis, and find a vaccine." 

That sudden theory of phthisis, falling from the clouds, 
resembled Pasteur's theory of germs floating in air. Was 
it not better, urged Pidoux the heterogenist, to remain in 
the truer and more philosophical doctrine of spontaneous 
generation ? " Let us believe, until the contrary is proved, 
that we are right, we partisans of the common etiology of 
phthisis, partisans of the spontaneous tuberculous degenera- 
tion of the organism under the influence of accessible 
causes, which we seek everywhere in order to cut down the 
evil in its roots." 

A reception somewhat similar to that given to Villemin 
was reserved for Davaine, who, having meditated on 
Pasteur's works on butyric ferment and the part played by 
that ferment, compared it and its action with certain para- 
sites visible with a microscope and observed by him in 
the blood of animals which had died of charbon disease. 
By its action and its rapid multiplication in the blood, this 
agent endowed with life probably acted, said Davaine, after 
the manner of ferments. The blood was modified to that 
extent that it speedily brought about the death of the 
infected animal. Davaine called those filaments found in 
anthrax " bacteria," and added, " They have a place in the 
classification of living beings." But what was that ani- 
mated virus to many doctors? They answered experi- 
mental proofs by oratorical arguments. 

7 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

At the very time when Pasteur took his seat at the 
Academy of Medicine, Davaine was being violently at- 
tacked ; his experiments on septicaemia were the cause, or 
the pretext. But the mere tone of the discussions prepared 
Pasteur for future battles. The theory of germs, the 
doctrine of virus ferments, all this was considered as a 
complete reversal of acquired notions, a heresy which had 
to be suppressed. A well known surgeon, Dr. Chassaignac, 
spoke before the Académie de Médecine of what he called 
" laboratory surgery, which has destroyed very many 
animals and saved very few human beings." In order to 
remind experimentalists of the distance between them and 
practitioners, he added: "Laboratory results should be 
brought out in a circumspect, modest and reserved manner, 
as long as they have not been sanctioned by long clinical 
researches, a sanction without which there is no real and 
practical medical science." Everything, he said, could not 
be resolved into a question of bacteria ! And, ironically, 
far from realizing the truth of his sarcastic prophecy, he 
exclaimed, " Typhoid fever, bacterization ! Hospital mi- 
asma, bacterization ! " 

Every one had a word to say. Dr. Piorry, an octoge- 
narian, somewhat weighed down with the burden of his 
years and reputation, rose to speak with his accustomed 
solemnity. He had found for Villemin's experiments the 
simple explanation that " the tuberculous matter seems to 
be no other than pus, which, in consequence of its sojourn 
in the organs, has undergone varied and numerous modifi- 
cations " ; and he now imagined that one of the principal 
causes of fatal accidents due to septicaemia after surgical 
operations was the imperfect ventilation of hospital wards. 
It was enough, he thought, that putrid odours should not be 
perceptible, for the rate of mortality to be decreased. 

It was then affirmed that putrid infection was not an 

8 



I873-I877 

organized ferment, that inferior organisms had in them- 
selves no toxic action, in fact, that they were the result 
and not the cause of putrid alteration; whereupon Dr. 
Bouillaud, a contemporary of Dr. Piorry, called upon their 
new colleague to give his opinion on the subject. 

It would have been an act of graceful welcome to Pasteur, 
and a fitting homage to the memory of the celebrated 
Trousseau, who had died five years before, in 1867, if any 
member present had then quoted one of the great practi- 
tioner's last lectures at the Hôtel Dieu, wherein he predicted 
a future for Pasteur's works : 

" The great theory of ferments is therefore now connected 
with an organic function ; every ferment is a germ, the life 
of which is manifested by a special secretion. It may be 
that it is so for morbid viruses; they may be ferments, 
which, deposited within the organism at a given moment 
and under determined circumstances, manifest themselves 
by divers products. So will the variolous ferment produce 
variolic fermentation, giving birth to thousands of pustules, 
and likewise the virus of glanders, that of sheep pox, 
etc. . . . 

" Other viruses appear to act locally, but, nevertheless, 
they ultimately modify the whole organism, as do gan- 
grene, malignant pustula, contagious erysipelas, etc. May 
it not be supposed, under such circumstances, that the 
ferment or organized matter of those viruses can be carried 
about by the lancet, the atmosphere or the linen ban- 
dages?" 

But it occurred to no one in the Academy to quote those 
forgotten words. 

Pasteur, answering Bouillaud, recalled his own researches 
on lactic and butyric fermentations and spoke of his studies 
on beer. He stated that the alteration of beer was due to 
the presence of filiform organisms ; if beer becomes altered, 

9 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

it is because it contains germs of organized ferments. 
" The correlation is certain, indisputable, between the dis- 
ease and the presence of organisms." He spoke those last 
words with so much emphasis that the stenographer 
who was taking down the extempore speeches underlined 
them. 

A few months later, on November 17, 1873, he read to 
the Academy a paper containing further developments of 
his principles. " In order that beer should become altered 
and become sour, putrid, slimy, ' ropy,' acid or lactic, it is 
necessary that foreign organisms should develop within it, 
and those organisms only appear and multiply when those 
germs are already extant in the liquid mass." It is possible 
to oppose the introduction of those germs ; Pasteur drew on 
the blackboard the diagram of an apparatus which only 
communicated with the outer air by means of tubes ful- 
filling the office of the sinuous necks of the glass vessels he 
had used for his experiments on so-called spontaneous 
generations. He entered into every detail, demonstrating 
that as long as pure yeast alone had been sown, the security 
was absolute. " That which has been put forward on the 
subject of a possible transformation of 3'east into bacteria, 
vibriones, mycoderma aceti and vulgar mucors, or vice 
versa, is mistaken." 

He wrote in a private letter on the subject : " These 
simple and clear results have cost me manj^ sleepless nights 
before presenting themselves before me in the precise form 
I have now given them." 

But his own conviction had not yet penetrated the minds 
of his adversaries, and M. Trécul was still supporting his 
hypothesis of transformations, the so-called proofs 01 
which, according to Pasteur, rested on a basis of confused 
facts tainted with involuntary errors due to imperfect 
experiments. 

10 



I873-I877 

In December, 1873, at a sitting of the Academy, he pre- 
sented M. Trécul with a few little flagons, in which he had 
sown some pure seed of pénicillium glaucum, begging him 
to accept them and to observe them at his leisure, assuring 
him that it would be impossible to find a trace of any 
transformation of the spores into yeast cells. 

" When M. Trécul has finished the little task which I am 
soliciting of his devotion to the knowledge of truth," con- 
tinued Pasteur, " I shall give him the elements of a similar 
work on the inycoderma vini ; in other words, I shall bring 
to M. Trécul some absolutely pure mycoderma vini with 
which he can reproduce his former experiments and 
recognize thé exactness of the facts which I have lately 
announced." 

Pasteur concluded thus : " The Academy will allow me to 
make one last remark. It must be owned that my con- 
tradictors have been peculiarly unlucky in taking the 
occasion of my paper on the diseases of beer to renew this 
discussion. How is it they did not understand that my 
process for the fabrication of inalterable beer could not 
exist if beer wort in contact with air could present all the 
transformations of which they speak ? And that work on 
beer, entirely founded as it is on the discovery and know- 
ledge of some microscopic beings, has it not followed my 
studies on vinegar, on the mycoderma aceti and on the new 
process of acetification which I have invented ? Has not 
that work been followed by my studies on the causes of 
wine diseases and the means 01 preventing them, still 
founded on the discovery and knowledge of non-spontaneous 
microscopic beings? Have not these last researches been 
followed by the discovery of means to prevent the silk- 
worm disease, equally deducted from the study of non- 
spontaneous microscopic beings ? 

" Are not all the researches I have pursued for seventeen 

II 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

years, at the cost of many efforts, the product of the same 
ideas, the same principles, pushed by incessant toil into 
consequences ever new ? The best proof that an observer 
is in the right track lies in the uninterrupted fruitfulness 
of his work." 

This fruitfulness was evidenced, not only by Pasteur's 
personal labours, but by those he inspired and encouraged. 
Thus, in that same period, M. Gayon, a former student of 
the Ecole Normale, whom he had chosen as curator, started 
on some researches on the alteration of eggs. He stated 
that when an egg is stale, rotten, this is due to the presence 
and multiplication of infinitesimally small beings; the germs 
of those organisms and the organisms themselves come 
from the oviduct of the hen and penetrate even into the 
points where the shell membrane and the albumen are 
formed. " The result is," concluded M. Gayon, "that, during 
the formation of those various elements, the egg may or may 
not, according to circumstances, gather up organisms or 
germs of organisms, and consequently bear within itself, 
as soon as it is laid, the cause of ulterior alterations. It 
will be seen at the same time that the number of eggs 
susceptible of alteration may vary from one hen to another, 
as well as between the eggs of one hen, for the organisms 
to be observed on the oviduct rise to variable heights.'' 

If the organisms which alter the eggs and cause them to 
rot " were formed," said Pasteur, "by the spontaneous self- 
organization of the matter within the egg into those small 
beings, all eggs should putrefy equally, whereas they do 
not." At the end of M. Gayon's thesis — which had not 
taken so long as Raulin's to prepare, only three years — we 
find the following conclusion: "Putrefaction in eggs is 
correlative with the development and multiplication of 
beings which are bacteria when in contact with air and 
vibriones when away from the contact of air. Eggs, from 

12 



I873-I877 

that point of view, do not depart from the general law 
discovered by M. Pasteur." 

Pasteur's influence was now spreading beyond the Labora- 
tory of Physiological Chemistry, as the small laboratory at 
the Ecole Normale was called. 

In the treatise he had published in 1862, criticising 
the doctrine of spontaneous generation, he had mentioned 
among the organisms produced by urine in putrefac- 
tion, the existence of a torulacea in very small-grained 
chaplets. A physician. Dr. Traube, in 1864, had demon- 
strated that Pasteur was right in thinking that ammoni- 
acal fermentation was due to this torulacea, whose proper- 
ties were afterwards studied with infinite care by M. Van 
Tieghem, a former student of the Ecole Normale, who had 
inspired Pasteur with a deep affection. Pasteur, in his 
turn, completed his own observations and assured himself 
that this little organized ferment was to be found in every 
case of ammoniacal urine. Finally, after proving that 
boracic acid impeded the development of that ammoniacal 
ferment, he suggested to M. Guyon, the celebrated surgeon, 
the use of boracic acid for washing out the bladder ; M. 
Guyon put the advice into practice with success, and attri- 
buted the credit of it to Pasteur. 

In a letter written at the end of 1873, Pasteur wrote: 
" How I wish I had enough health and sufficient knowledge 
to throw myself body and soul into the experimental study 
of one of our infectious diseases !" He considered that his 
studies on fermentations would lead him in that direction ; 
he thought that when it should be made evident that every 
serious alteration in beer was due to the micro-organisms 
which find in that liquid a medium favourable to their 
development, when it should be seen that — in contradiction 
to the old ideas by which those alterations are looked upon 
as spontaneous, inherent in those liquids, and depending on 

13 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

their nature and composition — the cause of those diseases 
is not interior but exterior, then would indeed be defeated 
the doctrine of men like Pidoux, who, à propos of diseases, 
said : " Disease is in us, of us, by us," and who, à propos oi 
small-pox, even said that he was not certain that it could 
only proceed from inoculation and contagion. 

Though the majority of physicians and surgeons con- 
sidered that it was waste of time to listen to "a mere 
chemist," there was a small group of young men, under- 
graduates, who, in their thirst for knowledge, assembled at 
the Académie de Médecine every Tuesday, hoping that Pas- 
teur might bring out one of his communications concerning 
a scientific method " which resolves each difficulty by an 
easily interpreted experiment, delightful to the mind, and 
at the same time so decisive that it is as satisfying as a 
geometrical demonstration, and gives an impression of 
security." 

Those words were written by one of those who came to 
the Académie sittings, feeling that they were on the eve of 
some great revelations. He was a clinical assistant of Dr. 
Béhier's, and, busy as he was with medical analysis, he was 
going over Pasteur's experiments on fermentations for his 
own edification. He was delighted with the sureness of 
the Pastorian methods, and was impatient to continue the 
struggle now begun. Enthusiasm was evinced in his bril- 
liant eyes, in the timbre of his voice, clear, incisive, slightly 
imperious perhaps, and in his implacable desire for logic. 
Of solitary habits, with no ambition for distinction or 
degrees, he worked unceasingly for sheer love of science. 
The greatest desire of that young man of twenty-one, quite 
unknown to Pasteur, was to be one day admitted, in the 
very humblest rank, to the Ecole Normale laboratory. His 
name was Roux. 

Was not that medical student, that disciple lost in the 

14 



I873-I877 

crowd, an image of the new generation hungering for new 
ideas, more convinced than the preceding one had been of the 
necessity of proofs ? Struck by the unstable basis of medical 
theories, those young men divined that the secret of progress 
in hospitals was to be found in the laboratories. Medicine 
and surgery in those days were such a contrast to what 
they are now that it seems as if centuries divided them. 
No doubt one day some professor, some medical historian, 
will give us a full account of that vast and immense pro- 
gress. But, whilst awaiting a fully competent work of that 
kind, it is possible, even in a book such as this (which is, 
from many causes, but a hasty epitome of many very different 
things spread over a very simple biography), to give to a 
reader unfamiliar with such studies a certain idea of one of 
the most interesting chapters in the history of civilization, 
affecting the preservation of innumerable human lives. 

" A pin prick is a door open to Death," said the surgeon 
Velpeau. That open door widened before the smallest oper- 
ation; the lancing of an abcess or a whitlow sometimes 
had such serious consequences that surgeons hesitated 
before the slightest use of the bistoury. It was much 
worse when a great surgical intervention was necessary, 
though, through the irony of things, the immediate success 
of the most difficult operations was now guaranteed by the 
progress of skill and the precious discovery of anaesthesia. 
The patient, his will and consciousness suspended, awoke 
from the most terrible operation as from a dream. But at 
that very moment when the surgeon's art was emboldened 
by being able to disregard pain, it was arrested, disconcerted, 
and terrified by the fatal failures which supervened after 
almost every operation. The words pyaemia, gangrene, 
erysipelas, septicaemia, purulent infection, were bywords in 
those days. 

In the face of those terrible consequences, it had been 

15 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

thought better, about forty years ago, to discourage and 
even to prohibit a certain operation, then recently invented 
and practised in England and America, ovariotomy, " even," 
said Velpeau, " if the reported cures be true." In order 
to express the terror inspired by ovariotomy, a physician 
went so far as to say that it should be " classed among the 
attributes of the executioner." 

As it was supposed that the infected air of the hospitals 
might be the cause of the invariably fatal results of that 
operation, the Assistance Publique ^ hired an isolated house 
in the Avenue de Meudon, near Paris, a salubrious spot. 
In 1863, ten women in succession were sent to that house ; 
the neighbouring inhabitants watched those ten patients 
entering the house, and a short time afterwards their ten 
coffins being taken away. In their terrified ignorance they 
called that house the House of Crime. 

Surgeons were asking themselves whether they did not 
carry death with them, unconsciously scattering virus and 
subtle poisons. 

Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, surgery 
had positively retrograded ; the mortality after operations 
was infinitely less in the preceding centuries, because anti- 
sepsis was practised unknowingly, through cauterizations 
b3^ fire, boiling liquids and disinfecting substances. In a 
popular handbook published in 1749, and entitled Medicine 
and Surgery for the Poor, we read that wounds should be 
kept from the contact of air ; it was also recommended not 
to touch the wound with fingers or instruments. "It is 
ver}'' salutary, when uncovering the wound in order to dress 
it, to begin bj' applying over its w^hole surface a piece of 
cloth dipped into hot wine or brandy." Good results had 
been obtained by the great surgeon Larrey, under the first 

^ Assistance Publique, official organization of the charitable works 
supported by the State. [Trans.] 

16 



I873-I877 

Empire, by hot oil, hot brandy, and unfrequent dressings. 
But, under the influence of Broussais, the theory of inflam- 
mation caused a retrogression in surgery. Then came forth 
basins for making poultices, packets of charpie (usually 
made of old hospital sheets merely washed), and rows of 
pots of ointment. It is true that, during the second half of 
the last century, a few attempts were made to renew the 
use of alcoholized water for dressings. In 1868, at the 
time when the mortality after amputation in hospitals was 
over sixty per cent.. Surgeon Léon Le Fort banished 
sponges, exacted from his students scrupulous cleanliness 
and constant washing of hands and instruments before 
every operation, and employed alcoholized water for dress- 
ings. But though he obtained such satisfactory results as 
to lower, in his wards at the Hôpital Cochin, the average of 
mortality after amputations to twenty-four per cent., his 
colleagues were very far from suspecting that the first 
secret for preventing fatal results after operations consisted 
in a reform of the dressings. 

Those who visited an ambulance ward during the war of 
1870, especially those who were medical students, have pre- 
served such a recollection of the sight that they do not, even 
now, care to speak about it. It was perpetual agony, the 
wounds of all the patients were suppurating, a horrible fetor 
pervaded the place, and infectious septicaemia was every- 
where. " Pus seemed to germinate everywhere," said a 
student of that time (M. Landouzy, who became a professor 
at the Faculty of Medicine), " as if it had been sown by the 
surgeon." M. Landouzy also recalled the words of M. De- 
nonvilliers, a surgeon of the Charité Hospital, whom he calls 
•'a splendid operator, ... a virtuoso, and a dilettante in the 
art of operating," who said to his pupils: " When an amputa- 
tion seems necessary, think ten times about it, for too often, 
when we decide upon an operation, we sign the patient's 

VOL. II. 17 c 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

death-warrant." Another surgeon, who must have been 
profoundly discouraged in spite of his youthful energy, 
M. Vemeuil, exclaimed : " There were no longer any pre- 
cise indications, any rational previsions ; nothing was suc- 
cessful, neither abstention, conservation, restricted or radical 
mutilation, early or postponed extraction of the bullets, 
dressings rare or frequent, emollient or excitant, dry or 
moist, with or without drainage; we tried everything in 
vain ! " During the siege of Paris, in the Grand Hôtel, 
which had been turned into an ambulance, Nélaton, in 
despair at the sight of the death of almost every patient 
who had been operated on, declared that he who should 
conquer purulent infection would deserve a golden statue. 

It was only at the end of the war that it occurred to 
Alphonse Guérin — (who to his intense irritation was so 
often confounded with another surgeon, his namesake and 
opponent, Jules Guérin) — that " the cause of purulent infec- 
tion may perhaps be due to the germs or ferments dis- 
covered by Pasteur to exist in the air." Alphonse Guérin 
saw, in malarial fever, emanations of putrefied vegetable 
matter, and, in purulent infection, animal emanations, 
septic, and capable of causing death. 

"I thought more firmly than ever," he declared, "that 
the miasms emanating from the pus of the wounded were 
the real cause of this frightful disease, to which I had the 
sorrow of seeing the wounded succumb — whether their 
wounds were dressed with charpie and cerate or with 
alcoholized and carbolic lotions, either renewed several times 
a day or impregnating linen bandages which remained 
applied to the wounds. In my despair — ever seeking some 
means of preventing these terrible complications — I be- 
thought me that the miasms, whose existence I admitted, 
because I could not otherwise explain the production of 
purulent infection — and which were only known to me by 

i8 



I873-I877 

their deleterious influence — might well be living corpuscles, 
of the kind which Pasteur had seen in atmospheric air, and, 
from that moment, the history of miasmatic poisoning 
became clearer to me. If," I said, " miasms are ferments, 
I might protect the wounded from their fatal influence by 
filtering the air, as Pasteur did. I then conceived the idea 
of cotton- wool dressings, and I had the satisfaction of seeing 
my anticipations realized." 

After arresting the bleeding, ligaturing the blood vessels 
and carefully washing the wound with carbolic solution or 
camphorated alcohol, Alphonse Guéri n applied thin layers 
of cotton wool, over which he placed thicker masses of the 
same, binding the whole with strong bandages of new linen. 
This dressing looked like a voluminous parcel and did not 
require to be removed for about twenty days. This was 
done at the St. Louis Hospital to the wounded of the Com- 
mtme from March till June, 187 1. Other surgeons learnt 
with amazement that, out of thirty-four patients treated in 
that way, nineteen had survived operation. Dr. Reclus, 
who could not bring himself to believe it, said : " We had 
grown to look upon purulent infection as upon an inevitable 
and necessary disease, an almost Divinely instituted con- 
sequence of any important operation." 

There is a much greater danger than that of atmospheric 
germs, that ot the contagium germ, of which the surgeon's 
hands, sponges and tools are the receptacle, if minute and 
infinite precautions are not taken against it. Such pre- 
cautions were not even thought of in those days ; charpie, 
odious charpie, was left lying about on hospital and 
ambulance tables, in contact with dirty vessels. It had, 
therefore, been sufficient to institute careful washing ot the 
wounds, and especially to reduce the frequency ot dress- 
sings, and so diminish the chances of infection to obtain — 
thanks to a reform inspired by Pasteur's labours — this 

19 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

precious and unexpected remedy to fatalities subsequent to 
operations. In 1873, Alphonse Guérin, now a surgeon at 
the Hôtel Dieu, submitted to Pasteur all the facts which 
had taken place at the hospital St. Louis, where surgery 
was more " active," he said, than at the Hôtel Dieu ; he 
asked him to come and see his cotton- wool dressings, and 
Pasteur gladly hastened to accept the invitation. It was 
with much pleasure that Pasteur entered upon this new 
period of visits to hospitals and practical discussions with 
his colleagues of the Académie de Médecine. His joy at 
the thought that he had been the means of awakening in 
other minds ideas likely to lead to the good of humanity 
was increased by the following letter from Lister, dated 
from Edinburgh, February 13, 1874, which is here repro- 
duced in the original — 

" My dear Sir — allow me to beg your acceptance of a 
pamphlet, which I send by the same post, containing an 
account of some investigations into the subject which you 
have done so much to elucidate, the germ theory of fer- 
mentative changes. I flatter myself that you may read 
with some interest what I have written on the organism 
which you were the first to describe in your Mémoire sur la 
fermentation appelée lactique. 

" I do not know whether the records of British Surgery 
ever meet your eye. If so, you will have seen from time to 
time notices of the antiseptic system of treatment, which I 
have been labouring for the last nine years to bring to 
perfection. 

" Allow me to take this opportunity to tender you my most 
cordial thanks for having, by your brilliant researches, 
demonstrated to me the truth of the germ theory of putre- 
faction, and thus furnished me with the principle upon 
which alone the antiseptic system can be carried out. 

20 



I873-I877 

Should you at any time visit Edinburgh, it would, I 
believe, give you sincere gratification to see at our hospital 
how largely mankind is being benefited by your labours. 

" I need hardly add that it would afford me the highest 
gratification to show you how greatly surgery is indebted 
to you. 

"Forgive the freedom with which a common love of 
science inspires me, and 

"Believe me, with profound respect, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

" Joseph Lister." 

In Lister's wards, the instruments, sponges and other 
articles used for dressings were first of all purified in a 
strong solution of carbolic acid. The same precautions were 
taken for the hands of the surgeon and of his assistants. 
During the whole course of each operation, a vaporizer of 
carbolic solution created around the wound an antiseptic 
atmosphere ; after it was over, the wound was again 
washed with the carbolic solution. Special articles were 
used for dressing : a sort of gauze, similar to tarlatan and 
impregnated with a mixture of resin, paraffin and carbolic, 
maintained an antiseptic atmosphere around the wound. 
Such was — in its main lines — Lister's method. 

A medical student, M. Just Lucas-Championnière — who 
later on became an exponent in France of this method, and 
who described it in a valuable treatise published in 1876 
— had already in 1869, after a journey to Glasgow, stated 
in the Journal de médecine et de chirurgie pratique what were 
those first principles of defence against gangrene — " ex- 
treme and minute care in the dressing of wounds." But 
his isolated voice was not heard ; neither was any notice 
taken of a celebrated lecture given by Lister at the be- 
ginning of 1870 on the penetrating of germs into a purulent 

21 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

centre and on the utility of antisepsis applied to clinical 
practice. A few months before the war, Tyndall, the great 
English physicist, alluded to this lecture in an article 
entitled " Dusts and Diseases," which was published by the 
Revue des cours scientifiques. But the heads of the pro- 
fession in France had at that time absolute confidence in 
themselves, and nobody took any interest in the rumour oi 
success attained by the antiseptic method. Yet, between 
1867 and 1869, thirty-tour of Lister's patients out of forty had 
survived after amputation. It is impossible on reading ot 
this not to feel an immense sadness at the thought of the 
hundreds and thousands of young men who perished in 
ambulances and hospitals during the fatal year, and w^ho 
might have been saved by Lister's method. In his own 
country, Lister had also been violently criticized. " People 
turned into ridicule Lister's minute precautions in the 
dressing ot wounds," writes a competent judge. Dr. Auguste 
Reaudin, a professor at the Geneva Faculty of Medicine, 
" and those who lost nearly all their patients by poulticing 
them had nothing but sarcasms for the man who was so 
infinitely superior to them." Lister, with his calm courage 
and smiUng kindliness, let people talk, and endeavoured 
year by year to perfect his method, testing it constantly 
and improving it in detail. No one, however sceptical, 
whom he invited to look at his results, could preserve his 
scepticism in the face of such marked success. 

Some of his opponents thought to attack him on another 
point by denying him the priority of the use of carbolic 
acid. Lister never claimed that priority, but his enemies 
took pleasure in recalling that Jules Lemaire, in i860, had 
proposed the use of w^eak carbolic solution for the treat- 
ment of open wounds, and that the same had been pre- 
scribed by Dr. Déclat in 1861, and also by Maisonneuve, 
Demarquay and others. The fact that should have been 

22 



I873-I877 

proclaimed was that Lister had created a surgical method 
which was in itself an immense and beneficial progress ; 
and Lister took pleasure in declaring that he owed to 
Pasteur the principles w^hich had guided him. 

At the time when Pasteur received the letter above 
quoted, which gave him deep gratification, people in 
France were so far from all that concerned antisepsis and 
asepsis, that, when he advised surgeons at the Académie 
de Médecine to put their instruments through a flame before 
using them, they did not understand what he meant, and he 
had to explain — 

" \ mean that surgical instruments should merely be put 
through a flame, not really heated, and for this reason: if 
a sound were examined with a microscope, it would be seen 
that its surface presents grooves where dusts are harboured, 
which cannot be completely removed even by the most 
careful cleansirîg. Fire entirely destroys those organic 
dusts ; in my laboratory, where I am surrounded with dust 
of all kinds, I never make use of an instrument without 
previously putting it through a flame." 

Pasteur was ever ready to help others, giving them willing 
advice or information. In November, 1874, when visiting 
the Hôtel Dieu with Messrs. Larrey and Gosselin, he had 
occasion to notice that a certain cotton-wool dressing had 
been very badly done by a student in one of Guérin's 
wards. A wound on the dirty hand of a labouring man 
had been bandaged with cotton wool without having been 
washed in any way. When the bandaging was removed in 
the presence of Guérin, the pus exhaled a repugnant odour, 
and was found to swarm with vibriones. Pasteur, in a 
sitting of the Académie des Sciences, entered into details as 
to the precautions which are necessary to get rid of the 
germs originally present on the surface of the wound or of 
the cotton wool; he declared that the layers of cotton 

23 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

wool should be heated to a very high temperature. He also 
suggested the following experiment: "In order to demon- 
strate the evil influence of ferments and proto-organisms in 
the suppuration of wounds, I would make two identical 
wounds on the two symmetrical limbs of an animal under 
chloroform; on one of those wounds I would apply a 
cotton- wool dressing with every possible precaution ; on 
the other, on the contrary, I would cultivate, so to speak, 
micro-organisms abstracted from a strange sore, and offer- 
ing, more or less, a septic character. 

" Finall}^, I should like to cut open a wound on an animal 
under chloroform in a very carefully selected part of the 
bod}' — for the experiment would be a very delicate one — 
and in absolutely pure air, that is, air absolutely devoid of 
any kind of germs, afterwards maintaining a pure atmo- 
sphere around the wound, and having recourse to no dress- 
ing whatever. I am inclined to think that perfect healing 
would ensue under such conditions, for there would be 
nothing to hinder the work of repair and reorganization 
which must be accomplished on the surface of a wound if 
it is to heal." 

He explained in that way the advantage accruing to 
hygiene, in hospitals and elsewhere, from infinite pre- 
cautions of cleanliness and the destro3àng of infectious 
germs. Himself a great investigator of new ideas, he 
intended to compel his colleagues at the Académie de 
Médecine to include the pathogenic share of the infinitesi- 
mall}^ small among matters demanding the attention of 
medicine and surgery. The struggle was a long, unceasing 
and painful one. In February, 1875, his presence gave 
rise to a discussion on ferments, which lasted until the end 
of March. In the course of this discussion he recalled the 
experiments he had made fifteen years before, describing 
how — in a liquid composed of mineral elements, apart 

24 



\ I873-I877 

from the contact of atmospheric air and previously raised 
to ebullition — vibriones could be sown and subsequently seen 
to flourish and multiply, offering the sight of those two 
important phenomena : life without air, and fermentation. 

" They are far behind us now," he said ; " they are now 
relegated to the rank of chimeras, those theories of fermenta- 
tion imagined by Berzelius, Mitscherlich, and Liebig, and 
re-edited with an accompaniment of new hypotheses by 
Messrs. Pouchet, Frémy, Trécul, and Béchamp. Who 
would now dare to affirm that fermentations are contact 
phenomena, phenomena of motion, communicated by an 
altering albuminoid matter, or phenomena produced by semi- 
organized materia, transforming themselves into this or 
into that ? All those creations of fancy fall to pieces before 
this simple and decisive experiment." 

Pasteur ended up his speech by an unexpected attack on 
the pompous etiquette of the Academy's usual proceedings, 
urging his colleagues to remain within the bounds of a 
scientific discussion instead of making flowery speeches. 
He was much applauded, and his exhortation taken in good 
part. His colleagues also probably sympathized with his 
irritation in hearing a member of the assembly, M. Poggiale, 
formerly apothecary in chief to the Val de Grâce, give a 
somewhat sceptical dissertation on such a subject as 
spontaneous generation, saying disdainfully — 

" M. Pasteur has told us that he had looked for spontaneous 
generation for twenty years without finding it ; he will long 
continue to look for it, and, in spite of his courage, per- 
severance and sagacity, I doubt whether he ever will find 
it. It is almost an unsolvable question. However those 
who, like me, have no fixed opinion on the question of 
spontaneous generation reserve the right of verifying, of 
sifting and of disputing new facts, as they appear, one by 
one and wherever they are produced." 

25 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

" What! " cried Pasteur, wrathful whenever those great 
questions were thoughtlessly tackled, " what ! I have been 
for twenty years engaged in one subject and I am not to 
have an opinion ! and the right of verifying, sifting, and 
disputing the facts is to belong to him who does nothing to 
become enlightened but merely to read our works more or 
less attentively, his feet on his study fender ! ! ! " 

"You have no opinion on spontaneous generation, my 
dear colleague ; I can well believe that, while regretting it. 
I am not speaking, of course, of those sentimental opinions 
that everybody has, more or less, in questions of this 
nature, for in this assembly we do not go in for sentiment. 
You say that, in the present state of science, it is wiser to 
have no opinion: well, I have an opinion, not a senti- 
mental one, but a rational one, having acquired a right to 
it by twenty years of assiduous labour, and it would be 
wise in every impartial mind to share it. My opinion — nay 
more, my conviction — is that, in the present state of science, 
as you rightly say, spontaneous generation is a chimera ; 
and it would be impossible for you to contradict me, for my 
experiments all stand forth to prove that spontaneous 
generation is a chimera. What is then your judgment on 
my experiments ? Have I not a hundred times placed 
organic matter in contact with pure air in the best condi- 
tions for it to produce life spontaneously? Have I not 
practised on those organic materia which are most favour- 
able, according to all accounts, to the genesis of spontaneity, 
such as blood, urine, and grape juice ? How is it that you 
do not see the essential difference between my opponents 
and myself? Not only have I contradicted, proof in hand, 
every one of their assertions, while they have never dared 
to seriously contradict one of mine, but, for them, every 
cause of error benefits their opinion. For me, affirming as 
I do that there are no spontaneous fermentations, I am 

26 



I873-I877 

bound to eliminate every cause ot error, every perturbing 
influence, I can maintain my results only by means of 
most irreproachable experiments; their opinions, on the 
contrary, profit by every insufficient experiment and that is 
where they find their support." 

Pasteur having been abruptly addressed by a colleague, 
who remarked that there were yet many unexplained facts 
in connection with fermentation, he answered by thus 
apostrophizing his adversaries — 

"What is then your idea of the progress of Science? 
Science advances one step, then another, and then draws 
back and meditates before taking a third. Does the 
impossibility of taking that last step suppress the success 
acquired by the two others ? Would you say to an infant 
who hesitated before a third step, having ventured on two 
previous ones : ' Thy former efforts are of no avail ; never 
shalt thou walk ' ? 

" You wish to upset what you call my theory, apparently 
in order to defend another ; allow me to tell you by what 
signs these theories are recognized : the characteristic of 
erroneous theories is the impossibility of ever foreseeing new 
facts; whenever such a fact is discovered, those theories 
have to be grafted with further hypotheses in order to 
account for them. True theories, on the contrary, are the 
expression of actual facts and are characterized by being 
able to predict new facts, a natural consequence of those 
already known. In a word, the characteristic of a true 
theory is its fruitfulness." 

"Science," said he again at the following sitting of the 
Academy, " should not concern itself in any way with the 
philosophical consequences of its discoveries. If through 
the development of my experimental studies I come to 
demonstrate that matter can organize itself of its own 
accord into a cell or into a living being, I would come 

27 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

here to proclaim it with the legitimate pride of an inventor 
conscious of having made a great discovery, and I would 
add, if provoked to do so, " All the worse for those whose 
doctrines or systems do not fit in with the truth of the 
natural facts." 

" It was with similar pride that I defied my opponents to 
contradict me when I said, " In the present state of science 
the doctrine of spontaneous generation is a chimera." And 
I add, with similar independence, " All the worse for those 
whose philosophical or political ideas are hindered by my 
studies." 

"This is not to be taken to mean that, in my beliefs and in 
the conduct of my life, I only take account of acquired 
science : if I would, I could not do so, for I should then have 
to strip myself of a part of myself. There are two men in 
each one of us : the scientist, he who starts with a clear 
field and desires to rise to the knowledge of Nature through 
observation, experimentation and reasoning, and the man 
of sentiment, the man of belief, the man who mourns his 
dead children and who cannot, alas, prove that he will see 
them again, but who believes that he will, and lives in that 
hope, the man who will not die like a vibrio, but who feels 
that the force that is within him cannot die. The two 
domains are distinct, and woe to him who tries to let them 
trespass on each other in the so imperfect state of human 
knowledge." 

And that separation, as he understood it, caused in him 
none of those conflicts which often determine a crisis in a 
human soul. As a scientist, he claimed absolute liberty of 
research; he considered, with Claude Bernard and Littré 
that, it was a mistaken waste of time to endeavour to pene- 
trate primary causes ; " we can only note correlations," he 
said. But, with the spiritual sentiment which caused him 
to claim for the inner moral life the same liberty as for 

28 



I873-I877 

scientific research, he could not understand certain givers 
of easy explanations who affirm that matter has organized 
itself, and who, considering as perfectly simple the spectacle 
of the Universe of which Earth is but an infinitesimal part, 
are in no wise moved by the Infinite Power who created the 
worlds. With his whole heart he proclaimed the immor- 
tality of the soul. 

His mode of looking upon human life, in spite of sorrows, 
of struggles, of heavy burdens, had in it a strong element 
of consolation : " No effort is wasted," he said, giving thus 
a most virile lesson of philosophy to those inferior minds 
who only see immediate results in the work they undertake 
and are discouraged by the first disappointment. In his 
respect for the great phenomenon of Conscience, by which 
almost all men, enveloped as they are in the mystery of the 
Universe, have the prescience of an Ideal, of a God, he con- 
sidered that " the greatness of human actions can be 
measured by the inspirations which give them birth." He 
was convinced that there are no vain prayers. If all is 
simple to the simple, all is great to the great; it was 
through " the Divine regions of Knowledge and of Light " 
that he had visions of those who are no more. 

It was very seldom that he spoke of such things, though 
he was sometimes induced to do so in the course of a 
discussion so as to manifest his repugnance for vainglorious 
negations and barren irony ; sometimes too he would enter 
into such feelings when speaking to an assembly of young 
men. 

Those discussions at the Academy of Medicine had the 
advantage of inciting medical men to the research of the 
infinitesimally small, described by the Annual Secretary 
Roger as " those subtle artisans of many disorders in the 
living economy." 

M. Roger, at the end of a brief account of his colleague's 

29 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

work, wrote, " To the signal services rendered by M. Pasteur 
to science and to our country, it was but fair that a signal 
recompense should be given : the National Assembly has 
undertaken that care." 

That recompense, voted a few months previously, was the 
third national recompense accorded to French scientists since 
the beginning of the century. In 1837, Arago, before the 
Chamber of Deputies, and Gay Lussac before the Chamber 
of Peers, had obtained a glorious recognition of the services 
rendered by Daguerre and Niepce. In 1845 another 
national recompense was accorded to M. Vicat, the 
engineer. In 1874, Paul Bert, a member of the National 
Assembly, gladly reporting on the projected law tending 
to offer a national recompense to Pasteur, wrote quoting 
those precedents : 

" Such an assurance ot gratitude, given by a nation to 
men who have made it richer and more illustrious, honours 
it at least as much as it does them. ..." Paul Bert con- 
tinued by enumerating Pasteur's discoveries, and spoke of 
the millions Pasteur had assured to France, " without re- 
taining the least share of them for himself." In séricicul- 
ture alone, the losses in twenty years, before Pasteur's 
interference, rose to 1,500 millions of francs. 

" M. Pasteur's discoveries, gentlemen," concluded Paul 
Bert, " after throwing a new light on the obscure question of 
fermentations and of the mode of appearance of microscopic 
beings, have revolutionized certain branches of industry, 
of agriculture, and of pathology. One is struck with 
admiration when seeing that so many, and such divers 
results, proceed — through an unbroken chain of facts, 
nothing being left to hypothesis — from theoretical studies on 
the manner in which tartaric acid deviates polarized light. 
Never was the famous saying, ' Genius consists in sufficient 
patience ' more amply justified. The Government now pro- 

30 



I873-I877 

poses that you should honour this admirable combination of 
theoretical and practical study by a national recompense ; 
your Commission unanimously approves of this propo- 
sition. 

*' The suggested recompense consists in a life annuity of 
12,000 francs, which is the approximate amount of the 
salary of the Sorbonne professorship, which M. Pasteur's 
ill health has compelled him to give up. It is indeed smal 
when compared with the value of the services rendered, and 
your Commission much regrets that the state of our finances 
does not allow us to increase that amount. But the Com- 
mission agrees with its learned chairman (M. Mares) ' that 
the economic and hygienic results of M. Pasteur's discoveries 
will presently become so considerable that the French 
nation will desire to increase later on its testimony of grati- 
tude towards him and towards Science, of which he is one 
of the most glorious representatives." 

Half the amount of the annuity was to revert to Pasteur's 
widow. The Bill was passed by 532 votes against 24. 

"Where is the government which has secured such a 
majority ? " wrote Pasteur's old friend Chappuis, now 
Rector of the Grenoble Academy. The value of the recom- 
pense was certainly much enhanced by the fact that the 
Assembly, divided upon so many subjects, had been almost 
unanimous in its feeling of gratitude towards him who had 
laboured so hard for Science, for the country and for 
Humanity. 

"Bravo, my dear Pasteur: I am glad for you and for 
myself, and proud for us all. Your devoted friend. Sainte 
Claire Deville." 

" You are going to be a happy scientist," wrote M. Duclaux, 
for you can already see, and you will see more and more, 
the triumph of your doctrines and of your discoveries." 

Those who imagined that this national recompense was 

31 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

the close of a great chapter, perhaps even the last chapter 
of the book of his life, gave him, in their well meaning 
ignorance, some advice which highly irritated him: they 
advised him to rest. It is true that his cerebral hemorrhage 
had left him with a certain degree of lameness and a slight 
stiffness of the left hand, those external signs reminding 
him only too well of the threatening possibility of another 
stroke ; but his mighty soul was more than ever powerful 
to master his infirm body. It was therefore evident that 
Nisard, usually very subtle in his insight into character, 
did not thoroughly understand Pasteur when he wrote to 
him, " Now, dear friend, you must give up j^our energies 
to living for your family, for all those who love you, and a 
little too for yourself." 

In spite of his deep, even passionate tenderness for his 
family, Pasteur had other desires than to limit his life to 
such a narrow circle. Every man who knows he has a 
mission to fulfil feels that there are rays of a light purer 
and more exalted than that proceeding from the hearth. 
As to the suggestion that Pasteur should take care of his 
own health, it was as useless as it would be to advise 
certain men to take care of that of others. 

Dr. Andral had vainly said and written that he should 
forbid Pasteur any assiduous labour. Pasteur considered 
that not to work was to lose the object of living at all. If, 
however, a certain equilibrium was established between 
the anxious solicitude of friends, the prohibitions of medical 
advisers and the great amount of work which Pasteur 
insisted on doing, it was owing to her who with a discreet 
activity watched in silence to see that nothing outside his 
work should complicate Pasteur's life, herself his most 
precious collaborator, the confidante of every experiment. 

Everything was subordinate to the laboratorj^ ; Pasteur 
never accepted an invitation to those large social gatherings 

32 



I873-I877 

which are a tax laid by those who have nothing to do on 
the time of those who are busy, especially if they be cele- 
brated. Pasteur's name, known throughout the world, was 
never mentioned in fashionable journals ; he did not even 
go to theatres. In the evening, after dinner, he usually 
perambulated the hall and corridor of his rooms at the 
Ecole Normale, cogitating over various details of his work. 
At ten o'clock, he went to bed, and at eight the next morn- 
ing, whether he had had a good night or a bad one, he 
resumed his work in the laboratory. 

That regular life, preserving its even tenor through so 
many polemics and discussions, was momentarily perturbed 
by politics in January, 1876. Pasteur, who, in his extra- 
ordinary, almost disconcerting, modesty believed that a 
medical diploma would have facilitated his scientific revolu- 
tion, imagined — after the pressing overtures made to him 
by some of his proud compatriots — that he would be able to 
serve more usefully the cause of higher education if he 
were to obtain a seat at the Senate. 

He addressed from Paris a letter to the senatorial electors 
of the department of Jura, " I am not a political man," he 
said, " I am bound to no party ; not having studied politics, 
I am ignorant of many things, but I do know this, that I love 
my country and have served her with all my strength." 
Like many good citizens, he thought that a renewal of the 
national grandeur and prosperity might be sought in a 
serious experimental trial of the Republic. If honoured 
with the suffrages of his countrymen, he would " represent 
in the Senate, Science in all its purity, dignity and indepen- 
dence. ' ' Two Jura new spapers, of different opinions, agreed 
in regretting that Pasteur should leave "the peaceful 
altitudes of science," and come down into the Jura to solicit 
the electors' suffrages. 

In his answers to such articles, letters dictated to his son 

VOL. II. 33 D 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

— who acted as his secretary during that electoral campaign 
and accompanied him to Lons-le-Saulnier, where they spent 
a week, published addresses, posters, etc. — Pasteur invoked 
the following motto, " Science et Patrie. '^ Why had France 
been victorious in 1792? " Because Science had given to 
our fathers the material means of fighting." And he 
recalled the names of Monge, of Carnot, of Fourcroy, 01 
Guyton de Morveau, of BerthoUet, that concourse of men of 
science, thanks to whom it had been possible — during that 
grandiose epoch — to hasten the working of steel and the 
preparation of leather for soldiers' boots, and to find means 
of extracting saltpetre for gunpowder from plaster rubbish, 
of making use of reconnoitring balloons and of perfecting 
telegraphy. 

The senatorial electors numbered 650, Jules Grévy came 
to Lons-le-Saulnier to support the candidature of MM. 
Tamisier and Thurel. In a meeting which took place the 
day before the election he said, " You will give them your 
suffrage to-morrow, and in so doing you will have deserved 
well of the Republic and of France." He mentioned, 
incidentally, that " M. Pasteur's character and scientific 
work entitle him to universal respect and esteem; but 
Science has its natural place at the Institute," he added, 
insisting on the Senate's political attributes. Grévy's 
intervention in favour of his two candidates was decisive. 
M. Tamisier obtained 446 votes, M. Thurel 445, General 
Picard 113, M. Besson, a monarchist, 153, Pasteur 62 only. 

He had received on that very morning a letter from his 
daughter, wishing him a failure — a bright, girlish letter, 
frankly expressing the opinion that her father could be 
most useful to his country by confining himself to laboratory 
work, and that politics would necessarily hinder such 
work. 

It was easy to be absolutely frank with Pasteur, who 

34 



I873-I877 

willingly accepted every truthful statement. No man was 
ever more beloved, more admired, and less flattered in his 
own home than he was. 

" What a wise judge you are, my dearest girl ! " answered 
Pasteur the same evening; "you are perfectly right. But 
I am not sorry to have seen all this, and that your brother 
should have seen it; all knowledge is useful." 

That little incursion into the domain of politics was ren- 
dered insignificant in Pasteur's life by the fact that his long- 
desired object was almost reached. Three months later, at 
the'distribution of prizes of the Concours Général, the Minister 
of Public Instruction pronounced a speech, of which Pasteur 
preserved the text, underlining with his own hand the fol- 
lowing passages : " Soon, I hope, we shall see the Schools 
of Medicine and of Pharmacy reconstructed ; the Collège de 
France provided with new laboratories ; the Faculty of 
Medicine transferred and enlarged, and the ancient Sor- 
bonne itself restored and extended." 

And while the Minister spoke of " those higher studies of 
Philosophy, of History, of disinterested Science which are 
the glory of a nation and an honour to the human mind . . . 
which must retain the first rank to shed their serene light 
over inferior studies, and to remind men of the true goal and 
the true grandeur of human intelligence. ..." Pasteur 
could say to himself that the great cause which he had 
pleaded since he was made Dean of Faculty at Lille in 1854, 
which he had supported in 1868 and again on the morrow 
of the war, was at last about to be won in 1876. 

He had a patriotic treat during the summer holidays of 
that same year. A great international congress of sérici- 
culture was gathered at Milan ; there w^ere delegates from 
Russia, Austria, Italy and France, and Pasteur represented 
France. He was accompanied by his former pupils, his 
associates in his silkworm studies, Duclaux and Raulin, 

35 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

both of whom had become professors at the Lyons Faculty 
of Sciences, and IMaillot, who was then manager of the 
silkworm establishment of ISIontpellier. The members of 
the Congress had been previously informed of the pro- 
gramme of questions, and each intending speaker was 
armed with facts and observations. The open discussions 
allowed Duclaux, Raulin and Maillot to demonstrate the 
strictness and perfection of the experimental method which 
the}'- had learned from their master and which they were 
teaching in their turn. 

Excursions formed a delightful interlude ; one on the lake 
of Como was an enchantment. Then the French delegates 
were offered the pleasant surprise of a visit to an immense 
seeding establishment in the neighbourhood of Milan, which 
had been named after Pasteur. We have an account of 
this visit in a letter to J. B. Dumas (September 17). 

" My dear Master ... I very much regret that you are 
not here: you would have shared my satisfaction. I am 
dating my letter from Milan, but in reality, the congress 
being ended, we are staying at Signor Susani's country 
house for a few days. Here, from July 4, sixty or seventy 
women are busy for ten hours every day with microscopic 
examinations of absolute accuracy. I never saw a better 
arranged establishment. 400,000 moth cells are put under 
the microscope every day. The order and cleanliness are 
admirable ; any error is made impossible by the organiza- 
tion of a second test following the first." 

"I felt, in seeing my name in large letters on the façade of 
that splendid establishment, a joy which compensates for much 
of the frivolous opposition I have encountered from some oi 
my countrymen these last few years ; it is a spontaneous 
homage from the proprietor to my studies. Many sericicul- 
tors do their seeding themselves, by selection, or have it 
done by competent workers accustomed to the operation. 

36 



I873-I877 

The harvest from that excellent seed depends on the climate 
only; in a moderately favourable season the production 
often reaches fifty or seventy kilogrammes per ounce of 
twenty-five grammes." 

Signor Susani was looking forward to producing for that 
one year 30,000 ounces of seed. In the presence of the pro- 
digious activity of this veritable factory — where, besides the 
microscope women, more than one hundred persons were 
occupied in various ways, washing the mortars with which 
the moths are pounded before being put under the micro- 
scopes, cleansing the slides, etc. ; in fact, doing those various 
delicate but simple operations which had formerly been pro- 
nounced to be impracticable — Pasteur's thoughts went back 
to his experiments in the Pont-Gisquet greenhouse, to the 
modest beginnings of his process, now so magnificently 
applied in Italy. A month before this, J. B. Dumas, presid- 
ing at a scientific meeting at Clermont Fer rand, had said — 

" The future belongs to Science ; woe to the nations 
who close their eyes to this fact . . . Let us call to our aid 
on this neutral and pacific ground of Natural Philosophy, 
where defeats cost neither blood nor tears, those hearts 
which are moved by their country's grandeur ; it is by 
the exaltation of science that France will recover her 
prestige." 

Those same ideas were expressed in a toast given by 
Pasteur in the name of France at a farewell banquet, when 
the 300 members of the Sériciculture Congress were 
present. 

" Gentlemen, I propose a toast — To the peaceful strife of 
Science. It is the first time that I have the honour of being 
present on foreign soil at an international congress ; I ask 
myself what are the impressions produced in me, besides 
these courteous discussions, by the brilliant hospitality of 
the noble Milanese city, and I find myself deeply impressed 

37 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

by two propositions. First, that Science is of no nationality ; 
and secondly, in apparent, but only in apparent, contra- 
diction, that Science is the highest personification of nation- 
ality. Science has no nationality because knowledge is 
the patrimony of humanity, the torch which gives light to 
the world. Science should be the highest personification of 
nationality because, of all the nations, that one will always 
be foremost which shall be first to progress by the labours 
of thought and of intelligence. 

" Let us therefore strive in the pacific field of Science 
for the pre-eminence of our several countries. Let us 
strive, for strife is effort, strife is life when progress is 
the goal. 

" You Italians, try to multiply on the soil of your beautiful 
and glorious country the Tecchi, the Brioschi, the Tacchini, 
the Sella, the Cornalia. . . . You, proud children of Austria- 
Hungary, follow even more firmly than in the past the 
fruitful impulse which an eminent statesman, now your 
representative at the Court of England, has given to Science 
and Agriculture. We, who are here present, do not forget 
that the first sériciculture establishment was founded in 
Austria. As to you, Japanese, may the cultivation of 
Science be numbered among the chief objects of your care 
in the amazing social and political transformation of which 
you are giv^ing the marvellous spectacle to the world. We 
Frenchmen, bending under the sorrow of our mutilated 
country, should show once again that great trials may 
give rise to great thoughts and great actions. 

" I drink to the peaceful strife of Science." 

"You will find," wrote Pasteur to Dumas, telling him of 
this toast, which had been received with enthusiastic 
applause, ''an echo of the feelings with which you have 
inspired your pupils on the grandeur and the destiny of 
Science in modern society." 

38 



I873-I877 

The tender and delicate side of this powerful spirit was 
thus once again apparent in this deference to his master 
in the midst of acclamations, and in those deep and noble 
ideas expressed in the middle of a noisy banquet. But it 
was chiefly in his private life that his open-heartedness, 
his desire to love and to be loved, became apparent. 
That great genius had a childlike heart, and the charm 
of this was incomparable. 

He once said : " The recompense and the ambition of a 
scientist is to conquer the approbation of his peers and of 
the masters whom he venerates." He had already known 
that recompense and could satisfy that ambition. Dumas 
had known and appreciated him for thirty years; Lister 
had proclaimed his gratitude; Tyndall — an indefatigable 
excursionist, who loved to survey wide horizons, and who 
in his celebrated classes was wont to make use of com- 
parisons with altitudes and heights and everything which 
opens a clear and vast outlook — had a great admiration for 
the wide development of Pasteur's work. Now, Pasteur's 
experiments had been strongly attacked by a young English 
physician. Dr. Bastian, who had excited in the English and 
American public a bitter prejudice against the results 
announced by Pasteur on the subject of spontaneous 
generation. 

"The confusion and uncertainty," wrote Tyndall to 
Pasteur, " have finally become such that, six months ago, 
I thought that it would be rendering a service to Science, 
at the same time as justice to yourself, if the question 
were subjected to a fresh investigation. 

" Putting into practice an idea which I had entertained 
six years ago — the details of which are set out in the article 
in the British Medical Journal which I had the pleasure to 
send you — I went over a large portion of the ground on 
which Dr. Bastian had taken up his stand, and refuted, 

39 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

I think, man}' of the fallacies which had misled the public. 

" The change which has taken place since then in the 
tone of the English medical journals is quite remarkable, 
and I am disposed to think that the general confidence of 
the public in the accuracy of Dr. Bastian's experiments 
has been considerably shaken. 

" In taking up these investigations, I have had the 
opportunity of refreshing my memory about your labours ; 
thej^ have reawakened in me all the admiration which I felt 
for them when I first read of them. I intend to continue 
these investigations until I have dispersed all the doubts 
which may have arisen as to the indisputable accuracy 
of your conclusions." 

And Tyndall added a paragraph for which Pasteur 
modestl}" substituted asterisks in communicating this letter 
to the Academj". 

"For the first time in the history of Science we have 
the right to cherish the sure and certain hope that, as 
regards epidemic diseases, medicine will soon be delivered 
from quackery and placed on a real scientific basis. 
When that day arrives, Humanity, in my opinion, will 
know how to recognize that it is to you that will be due 
the largest share of her gratitude." 

Tyndall was indeed qualified to sign this passport to 
immortalit5^ But in the meanwhile a struggle was 
necessary, and Pasteur did not wish to leave the burden 
of the discussion even on such shoulders as Tyndall's ! 
Moreover he was interested in his opponent. 

" Dr. Bastian," writes M. Duclaux, " had some tenacity, 
a fertile mind, and the love, if not the gift, of the experi- 
mental method." The discussion was destined to last for 
months. In general (according to J. B. Dumas' calcula- 
tion) " at the end of ten years, judgment on a great thing 
is usually formed ; it is by then an accomplished fact, an 

40 



I873-I877 

idea adopted by Science or irrevocably repudiated." Pasteur, 
on the morrow of the Milan Congress, might feel that it 
had been so for the adoption of his system of cellular 
seeding, but such was not the case in this question of 
spontaneous generation. The quarrel had started again 
at the Academy of Sciences and at the Academy of 
Medicine ; it was now being revived in England, and 
Bastian proposed to come himself and experiment in the 
laboratory of the Ecole Normale. 

"For nearly twenty years," said Pasteur, "I have 
pursued, without finding it, a proof of life existing with- 
out an anterior and similar life. The consequences of 
such a discovery would be incalculable ; natural science in 
general, and medicine and philosophy in particular, would 
receive therefrom an impulse which cannot be foreseen. 
Therefore, whenever I hear that this discovery has been 
made, I hasten to verify the assertions of my fortunate 
rival. It is true that I hasten towards him with some 
degree of mistrust, so many times have I experienced 
that, in the difficult art of experimenting, the very 
cleverest stagger at every step, and that the interpretation 
of facts is no less perilous." 

Dr. Bastian operated on acid urine, boiled and neutral- 
ized by a solution of potash heated to a temperature of 
i2o°C. If, after the flask of urine had cooled down, it was 
heated to a temperature of 50° C. in order to facilitate the 
development of germs, the liquid in ten hours' time 
swarmed with bacteria. "Those facts prove spontaneous 
generation," said Dr. Bastian. 

Pasteur invited him to replace his boiled solution of 
potash by a fragment of solid potash, after heating it to 
iio°C., in order to avoid the bacteria germs which might be 
contained in the aqueous solution. This question of the 
germs of inferior organisms possibly contained in water 

41 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

was — during the course of that protracted discussion — 
studied by Pasteur with the assistance of M. Joubert, 
Professor of Physics at the Collège Rollin. Such germs were 
to be found even in the distilled water of laboratories ; it 
was sufficient that the water should be poured in a thin 
stream through the air to become contaminated. Spring 
water, if slowly filtered through a solid mass of ground, 
alone contained no germs. 

There was also the question of the urine and that of the 
recipient. The urine, collected by Dr. Bastian in a vase 
and placed into a retort, neither of which had been put 
through a flame, might contain spores of a bacillus called 
bacillus subtilis, which offer a great resistance to the action 
of heat. Those spores do not develop in notably acid 
liquids, but the liquid having been neutralized or rendered 
slightly alkaline by the potash, the development of germs 
took place. The thing therefore to be done was to collect 
the urine in a vase and introduce it into a retort both oi 
which had been put through a flame. After that, no 
organisms were produced, as was stated in the thesis of 
M. Chamberland, then a curator at the laboratory, and who 
took an active part in these experiments. 

A chapter might well have been written by a moralist 
"On the use of certain opponents"; for it was through 
that discussion with Bastian that it was discovered how it 
was that — at the time of the celebrated discussions on 
spontaneous generation — the heterogenists, Pouchet, Joly, 
and Musset, operating as Pasteur did, but in a different 
mediimi, obtained results apparently contradictory to 
Pasteur's. If their flasks, filled with a decoction of hay, 
almost constantly showed germs, whilst Pasteur's, full oi 
yeast water, were always sterile, it was because the hay 
water contained spores of the bacillus subtilis. The spores 
remained inactive as long as the liquid was preserved from 

42 



I873-I877 

the contact of air, but as soon as oxygen re-entered the 
flask they were able to develop. 

The custom of raising liquids to a temperature of 120° C. 
in order to sterilize them dates from that conflict with 
Bastian. " But," writes M. Duclaux, " the heating to 120° 
of a flask half filled with liquid can sterilize the liquid part 
only, allowing life to persist in those regions which are not 
in contact with the liquid. In order to destroy everything, 
the dry walls must be heated to 180° C." 

A former pupil of the Ecole Normale, who had been 
a curator in Pasteur's laboratory since October, 1876, 
Boutroux by name, who witnessed all these researches, 
wrote in his thesis : " The knowledge of these facts makes 
it possible to obtain absolutely pure neutral culture 
mediums, and, in consequence, to study as many generations 
as are required of one unmixed micro-organism, whenever 
pure seed has been procured." 

Pasteur has defined what he meant by putting tubes, 
cotton, vases, etc., through a flame. " In order to get rid 
of the microscopic germs which the dusts of air and of the 
water used for the washing of vessels deposit on every 
object, the best means is to place the vessels (their openings 
closed with pads of cotton wool) during half an hour in a 
gas stove, heating the air in which the articles stand to a 
temperature of about about 150° C. to 200° C. The vessels, 
tubes, etc., are then ready for use. The cotton wool is 
enclosed in tubes or in blotting-paper." 

What Pasteur had recommended to surgeons, when he 
advised them to pass through a flame all the instruments 
they used, had become a current practice in the laboratory ; 
the least pad of cotton-wool used as a stopper was 
previously sterilized. Thus was an entirely new technique 
rising fully armed and ready to repel new attacks and 
ensure new victories. 

43 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

If Pasteur was so anxious to drive Dr. Bastian to the 
wall, it was because he saw behind that so-called experiment 
on spontaneous generation a cause of perpetual conflict with 
physicians and surgeons. Some of them desired to repel 
purely and simply the whole theory of germs. Others, 
disposed to admit the results of Pasteur's researches, as 
laboratory work, did not admit his experimental incursions 
on clinical ground. Pasteur therefore wrote to Dr. Bastian 
in the early part of July, 1877 — 

" Do you know why I desire so much to fight and 
conquer you? it is because you are one of the principal 
adepts of a medical doctrine which I believe to be fatal to 
progress in the art of healing — the doctrine of the spontaneity 
of all diseases . . . That is an error which, I repeat it, is 
harmful to medical progress. From the prophylactic as 
well as from the therapeutic point of view, the fate of the 
physician and surgeon depends upon the adoption of the 
one or the other of these two doctrines." 



44 



CHAPTER II 
1877-1879 

THE confusion of ideas on the origin of contagious 
and epidemic diseases was about to be suddenly- 
enlightened; Pasteur had now taken up the study of the 
disease known as charbon or splenic fever. This disease was 
ruining agriculture; the French provinces of Beauce, 
Brie, Burgundy, Nivernais, Berry, Champagne, Dauphiné 
and Auvergne, paid a formidable yearly tribute to this 
mysterious scourge. In the Beauce, for instance, twenty 
sheep out of every hundred died in one flock; in some 
parts of Auvergne the proportion was ten or fifteen per cent., 
sometimes even twenty-five, thirty-five, or fifty per cent. 
At Provins, at Meaux, at Fontainebleau, some farms were 
called charbon farms ; elsewhere, certain fields or hills were 
looked upon as accursed and an evil spell seemed to be 
thrown over flocks bold enough to enter those fields or 
ascend those hills. Animals stricken with this disease 
almost always died in a few hours ; sheep were seen to lag 
behind the flock, with drooping head, shaking limbs and 
gasping breath; after a rigor and some sanguinolent 
evacuations, occurring also through the mouth and nostrils, 
death supervened, often before the shepherd had had time 
to notice the attack. The carcase rapidly became distended, 
and the least rent in the skin gave issue to a flow of black, 
thick and viscid blood, hence the name of anthrax given 

45 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

to the disease. It was also called splenic fever, because 
necropsy showed that the spleen had assumed enormous 
dimensions ; if that were opened, it presented a black and 
liquid pulp. In some places the disease assumed a 
character of extreme virulence; in the one district of 
Novgorod, in Russia, 56,000 head of cattle died of splenic 
infection between 1867 and 1870. Horses, oxen, cows, 
sheep, everything- succumbed, as did also 528 persons, 
attacked by the contagion under divers forms ; a pin prick 
or a scratch is sufficient to inoculate shepherds, butchers, 
knackers or farmers with the malignant pustule. 

Though a professor at the Alfort Veterinary School, 
M. Delafond, did point out to his pupils as far back as 1838 
that charbon blood contained "little rods," as he called 
them ; it was only looked upon by himself and them as 
a curiosity with no scientific importance. Davaine, when 
he — and Rayer as well — recognized in 1850 those little 
filiform bodies in the blood of animals dying of splenic 
fever, he too merely mentioned the fact, which seemed to 
him of so little moment that he did not even report it in the 
first notice of his works edited by himself. 

It was only eleven years later that Davaine — struck, as 
he himself gladly acknowledged, by reading Pasteur's paper 
on the butyric ferment, the little cylindrical rods of which 
offer all the characteristics of vibriones or bacteria — asked 
himself whether the filiform corpuscles seen in the blood of 
the charbon victims might not act after the manner of 
ferments and be the cause of the disease. In 1863, ^ 
medical man at Dourdan, whose neighbour, a farmer, had 
lost twelve sheep of charbon in a week, sent blood from 
one of these sheep to Davaine, who hastened to inoculate 
some rabbits with this blood. He recognized the presence 
of those little transparent and motionless rods which 
he called bacteridia (a diminutive of bacterium, or rod- 

46 



I877-I879 

shaped vibriones). It might be thought that the cause of 
the evil was found, in other words that the relation between 
those bacteridia and the disease which had caused death 
could not be doubted. But two professors of the Val de 
Grâce, Jaillard and Leplat, refuted these experiments. 

They had procured, in the middle of the summer, from a 
knacker's yard near Chartres, a little blood from a cow 
which had died of anthrax, and they inoculated some 
rabbits with it. The rabbits died, but without presenting 
any bacteridia. Jaillard and Leplat therefore affirmed 
that splenic fever was not an affection caused by parasites, 
that the bacteridium was an epiphenomenon of the disease 
and could not be looked upon as the cause of it. 

Da vaine, on repeating Jaillard and Leplat' s experiments, 
found a new interpretation ; he alleged that the disease they 
had inoculated was not anthrax. Then Jaillard and Leplat 
obtained a little diseased sheep's blood from M. Boutet, a 
veterinary surgeon at Chartres, and tried that instead of 
cow's blood. The result was identical: death ensued, but no 
bacteridia. Were there then two diseases ? 

Others made observations in their turn. It occurred to 
a young German physician, Dr. Koch, who in 1876 was 
beginning his career in a small village in Germany, to 
seek a culture medium for the bacteridium. A few drops 
of aqueous humour, collected in the eyes of oxen or of 
rabbits, seemed to him favourable. After a few hours 
of this nutrition the rods seen under the microscope were 
ten or twenty times larger than at first ; they lengthened 
immoderately, so as to cover the whole slide of the 
microscope, and might have been compared to a ball of 
tangled thread. Dr. Koch examined those lengths, and 
after a certain time noticed little spots here and there 
looking like a punctuation of spores. Tyndall, who knew 
how to secure continuous attention by a variety of 

47 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

comparisons, said at a scientific conference in Glasgow a 
few months later that those little ovoid bodies were 
contained within the envelope of the filament like peas in 
their pods. It is interesting to note that Pasteur, when he 
studied, in connexion with silkworm diseases, the mode of 
reproduction of the vibriones of flachery, had seen them 
divide into spores similar to shining corpuscles; he had 
demonstrated that those spores, like seeds of plants, could 
revive after a lapse of years and continue their disastrous 
work. The bacterium of charbon, or bacillus anthracis as 
it now began to be called, reproduced itself in the same 
way, and, when inoculated by Dr. Koch into guineapigs, 
rabbits and mice, provoked splenic fever as easily and 
inevitably as blood from the veins of an animal that had 
died of the disease. Bacilli and spores therefore yielded 
the secret of the contagion, and it seemed that the fact was 
established, when Paul Bert, in January, 1877, announced 
to the Société de Biologie that it was " possible to destroy 
the bacillus anthracis in a drop of blood by compressed 
oxygen, to inoculate' what remained, and to reproduce the 
disease and death without any trace of the bacteridium . . . 
Bacteridia," he added, " are therefore neither the cause nor 
the necessary effect of splenic fever, which must be due to 
a virus." 

Pasteur tackled the subject. A little drop of the blood ot 
an animal which had died of anthrax — a microscopic drop 
— was laid, sown, after the usual precautions to ensure 
purity, in a sterilized balloon which contained neutral or 
slightly alkaline urine. The culture medium might equally 
be common household broth, or beer-yeast water, either of 
them neutralized by potash. After a few hours, a sort of 
flake was floating in the liquid ; the bacteridia could be 
seen, not under the shape of short broken rods, but with 
the appearance of filaments, tangled like a skein ; the 

48 



I877-I879 

culture medium being highly favourable, they were rapidly 
growing longer. A drop of that liquid, abstracted from the 
first vessel, was sown into a second vessel, of which one 
drop was again placed into a third, and so on, until the 
fortieth flask; the seed of each successive culture came 
from a tiny drop of the preceding one. If a drop from one 
of those flasks was introduced under the skin of a rabbit 
or guinea-pig, splenic fever and death immediately ensued, 
with the same symptoms and characteristics as if the 
original drop of blood had been inoculated. In the presence 
of the results from those successive cultures, what became 
of the hypothesis of an inanimate substance contained in 
the first drop of blood ? It was now diluted in a proportion 
impossible to imagine. It would therefore be absurd, 
thought Pasteur, to imagine that the last virulence owed 
its power to a virulent agent existing in the original drop 
of blood; it was to the bacteridium, multiplied in each 
culture, and to the bacteridium alone, that this power was 
due ; the life of the bacteridium had made the virulence. 
" Anthrax is therefore," Pasteur declared, " the disease of 
the bacteridium, as trichinosis is the disease of the 
trichina, as itch is the disease of its special acarus, with 
this circumstance, however, that, in anthrax, the parasite 
can only be seen through a microscope, and very much 
enlarged." After the bacteridium had presented those 
long filaments, within a few hours, two days at the most, 
another spectacle followed ; amidst those filaments, appeared 
the oval shapes, the germs, spores or seeds, pointed out by 
Dr. Koch. Those spores, sown in broth, reproduced in 
their turn the little packets of tangled filaments, the 
bacteridia. Pasteur reported that " one single germ of 
bacteridium in the drop which is sown multiplies during 
the following hours and ends by filling the whole liquid 
with such a thickness of bacteridia that, to the naked eye, 
VOL. II. 49 E 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

it sœms that carded cotton has been mixed with the 
broth." 

M. Chamberland, a pupil who became intimately associ- 
ated with this work on anthrax, has defined as follows what 
Pasteur had now achieved : " By his admirable process of 
culture outside organism, Pasteur shows that the rods which 
exist in the blood, and for which he has preserved the name 
of bacteridia given them by Davaine, are living beings 
capable of being indefinitely reproduced in appropriate 
liquids, after the manner of a plant multiplied by suc- 
cessive cuttings. The bacterium does not reproduce itselr 
only under the filamentous form, but also through spores 
or germs, after the manner of many plants which present 
two modes of reproduction, by cuttings and by seeds." 
The first point was therefore settled. The ground sus- 
pected and indicated by Davaine was now part of the 
domain of science, and preserved from any new attacks. 

Yet Jaillard and Leplat's experiments remained to be 
explained: how had they provoked death through the 
blood of a splenic fever victim and found no bacteridia 
afterwards ? It was then that Pasteur, guided, as Tyndall 
expressed it, by " his extraordinary faculty of combining 
facts with the reasons of those facts," placed himself, to 
begin with, in the conditions of Jaillard and Leplat, who 
had received, during the height of the summer, some blood 
from a cow and a sheep which had died of anthrax, that 
blood having evidently been abstracted more than twenty- 
four hours before the experiment. Pasteur, who had 
arranged to go to the very spot, the knacker's yard near 
Chartres, and himself collect diseased blood, wrote to 
ask that the carcases of animals which had died of splenic 
fever should be kept for him for two or three days. 

He arrived on June 13, 1877, accompanied by the 
veterinary surgeon, M. Boutet. Three carcases were await- 

50 



I877-I879 

ing him: that of a sheep which had been dead sixteen 
hours, that of a horse whose death dated from the pre- 
ceding day, and that of a cow which must have been dead 
for two or three days, for it had been brought from a 
distant village. The blood of the recently deceased sheep 
contained bacteridia of anthrax only. In the blood of the 
horse, putrefaction vibriones were to be found, besides the 
bacteridia, and those vibriones existed in a still greater 
proportion in the blood of the cow. The sheep's blood, 
inoculated into guinea-pigs, provoked anthrax with pure 
bacteridia ; that of the cow and of the horse brought a 
rapid death with no bacteridia. 

Henceforth what had happened in Jaillard and Leplat's 
experiments, and in the incomplete and uncertain experi- 
ments of Davaine, became simple and perfectly clear to 
Pasteur, as well as the confusion caused by another 
experimentalist who had said his say ten years after the 
discussions of Jaillard, Leplat and Davaine. 

This was a Paris veterinary surgeon, M. Signol. He 
had written to the Academy of Sciences that it was enough 
that a healthy animal should be felled, or rather asphyxi- 
ated, for its blood, taken from the deeper veins, to become 
violently virulent within sixteen hours. M. Signol thought 
he had seen motionless bacteridia similar to the bacillus 
anthracis ; but those bacteridia, he said, were incapable of 
multiplying in the inoculated animals. Yet the blood was 
so very virulent that animals rapidly succumbed in a 
manner analogous to death by splenic fever. A Com- 
mission was nominated to ascertain the facts ; Pasteur was 
made a member of it, as was also his colleague Bouillaud — 
still so quick and alert, in spite of his eighty years, that he 
looked less like an old man than like a wrinkled young 
man — and another colleague, twenty years younger, Bouley, 
the first veterinary surgeon in France who had a seat at 

51 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

the Institute. The latter was a tall, handsome man, with 
a somewhat military appearance, and an expression of 
energetic good humour which his disposition fully justified. 
He was eager to help in the propagation of new ideas and 
discoveries, and soon, with eager enthusiasm, placed his 
marked talents as a writer and orator at Pasteur's disposal. 
On the day when the Commission met, M. Signol showed 
the carcase of a horse, which he had sacrificed for this 
experiment, having asphyxiated it when in excellent 
health. Pasteur uncovered the deep veins of the horse 
and showed to Bouley, and also to Messrs. Joubert and 
Chamberland, a long vibrio, so translucid as to be almost 
invisible, creeping, flexible, and which, according to 
Pasteur's comparison, slipped between the globules of the 
blood as a serpent slips between high grasses ; it was the 
septic vibrio. From the peritoneum, where it swarms, that 
vibrio passes into the blood a few hours after death; it 
represents the vanguard of the vibriones of putrefaction. 
When Jaillard and Leplat had asked for blood infected 
with anthrax, they had received blood which was at 
the same time septic. It was septicaemia (so prompt in its 
action that inoculated rabbits or sheep perish in twenty- 
four or thirty-six hours) that had killed Jaillard and 
Leplat's rabbits. It was also septicsemia, provoked by this 
vibrio (or its germs, for it too has germs), that M. Signol 
had unknowingly inoculated into the animals upon which 
he experimented. Successive cultures of that septic vibrio 
enabled Pasteur to show, as he had done for the bacillus 
anthracis, that one drop of those cultures caused septicaemia 
in an animal. But, while the bacillus anthracis is aerobic, 
the septic vibrio, being anaerobic, must be cultivated in 
a vacuum, or in carbonic acid gas. And, cultivating 
those bacteridia and those vibriones with at least as much 
care as a Dutchman might give to rare tulips, Pasteur 

52 



1877-1879 

succeeded in parting the bacillus anthracis and the septic 
vibrio when they were temporarily associated. In a cul- 
ture in contact with air, only bacteridia developed, in a 
culture preserved from air, only the septic vibrio. 

What Pasteur called " the Paul Bert fact " now alone 
remained to be explained ; this also was simple. The 
blood Paul Bert had received from Chartres was of the 
same quality as that which Jaillard and Leplat had had ; 
that is to say already septic. If filaments of bacillus 
anthracis and of septic vibriones perish under compressed 
oxygen, such is not the case with the germs, which are 
extremely tenacious ; they can be kept for several hours at 
a temperature of 70° C, and even of 95° C. Nothing injures 
them, neither lack of air, carbonic acid gas or compressed 
oxygen. Paul Bert, therefore, killed filamentous bacteridia 
under the influence of high pressure; but, as the germs 
were none the worse, those germs revived the splenic 
fever. Paul Bert came to Pasteur's laboratory, ascertained 
facts and watched experiments. On June 23, 1877, he 
hastened to the Société de Biologie and proclaimed his 
mistake, acting in this as a loyal Frenchman, Pasteur said. 

In spite of this testimony, and nothwithstanding the 
admiration conceived for Pasteur by certain medical men — 
notably H. Gueneau de Mussy, who published in that very 
year (1877) a paper on the theory of the contagium germ and 
the application of that theory to the etiology of typhoid 
fever — the struggle was being continued between Pasteur 
and the current medical doctrines. In the long discussion 
which began at that time in the Académie de Médecine on 
typhoid fever, some masters of medical oratory violently 
attacked the germ theory, proclaiming the spontaneity of 
living organism. Typhoid fever, they said, is engendered 
by ourselves within ourselves. Whilst Pasteur was con- 
vinced that the day would come — and that was indeed the 

53 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

supreme goal of his life work — when contagious and 
virulent diseases would be effaced from the preoccupations, 
mournings and anxieties of humanity, and when the 
inflnitesimally small, known, isolated and studied, would at 
last be vanquished, his ideas were called Utopian di'eams. 

The old professors, whose career had been built on a com- 
bination of theories which they were pleased to call medical 
truth, dazed by such startling novelties, endeavoured, as 
did Piorry, to attract attention to their former writings. 
" It is not the disease, an abstract being," said Piorry, 
" which we have to treat, but the patient, whom we must 
study with the greatest care b}* all the physical, chemical 
and clinical means which Science offers." 

The contagion which Pasteur showed, appearing clearly 
in the disorders visible in the carcases of inoculated guinea- 
pigs, was counted as nothing. As to the assimilation of a 
laboratory experiment on rabbits and guinea-pigs to what 
occurred in human pathology, it ma}' be guessed that it 
was quite out of the question for men who did not even 
admit the possibility of a comparison between veterinar}'" 
medicine and the other. It would be interesting to recon- 
stitute these hostile surroundings in order to appreciate the 
efforts of will required of Pasteur to enable him to triumph 
over all the obstacles raised before him in the medical and 
the veterinary world. 

The Professor of x\lfort School, Colin, who had, he said, 
made 500 experiments on anthrax within the last twelve 
years, stated, in a paper^ of seventeen pages, read at the 
Academ\- of Medicine on July 31, that the results of 
Pasteur's experiments had not the importance which 
Pasteur attributed to them. Among many other objections, 
one was considered b}* Colin as a fatal one — the existence 
of a virulent agent situated in the blood, besides the 
bacteridia. 

54 



I877-I879 

Bouley, who had just communicated to the Academy of 
Sciences some notes by M. Toussaint, professor at the 
Toulouse veterinary school, whose experiments agreed with 
those of Pasteur, was nevertheless a little moved by Colin's 
reading. He wrote in that sense to Pasteur, who was then 
spending his holidays in the Jura. Pasteur addressed to 
him an answer as vigorous as any of his replies at the 
Academy. 

"Arbois, August 18, 1877. — My dear colleague . . 
I hasten to answer your letter. I should like to accept 
literally the honour which you confer upon me by calling 
me 'your master,' and to give you a severe reprimand, 
you faithless man, who would seem to have been shaken by 
M. Colin's reading at the Académie des Sciences, since you 
are still holding forth on the possibility of a virulent agent, 
and since your uncertainties seem to be appeased by a new 
notice, read by yourself, last Monday, at the Académie des 
Sciences. 

" Let me tell you frankly that you have not sufficiently 
imbibed the teaching contained in the papers I have 
read, in my own name and in that of M. Joubert, at the 
Académie des Sciences and at the Academy of Medicine. 
Can you believe that I should have read those papers if 
they had wanted the confirmation you mention, or if 
M. Colin's contradictions could have touched them? You 
know what my situation is, in these grave controversies ; 
you know that, ignorant as I am of medical and veterinary 
knowledge, I should immediately be taxed with presump- 
tion if I had the boldness to speak without being armed for 
struggle and for victory ! All of you, physicians and 
veterinary surgeons, would quite reasonably fall upon me if 
I brought into your debates a mere semblance of proof. 

" How is it that you have not noticed that M. Colin has 
travestied — I should even say suppressed — because it hindered 

55 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

his theorj^, the important experiment of the successive 
cultures of the bacteridium in urine? 

" If a drop of blood, infected with anthrax, is mixed with 
water, with pure blood or with humour from the eye, as 
was done b}- Davaine, Koch and M. Colin himself, and 
some of that mixture is inoculated and death ensues, doubt 
may remain in the mind as to the cause of virulence, 
especially since Davaine's well known experiments on 
septicemia. Our experiment is very different ..." 

And Pasteur showed how, from one artificial culture to 
another, he reached the fiftieth, the hundredth, and how a 
drop of this hundredth culture, identical with the first, could 
bring about death as certainl}^ as a drop of infected blood. 

Months passed, and — as Pasteur used to wish in his 
youth that it might be — few passed T^ithout showing one 
step forward. In a private letter to his old Arbois school- 
fellow, Jules Vercel, he wrote (February it, 1878): " I am 
extremely busy; at no epoch of my scientific life have I 
worked so hard or been so much interested in the results of 
my researches, which will, I hope, throw anew and a great 
light on certain very important branches of medicine and 
of surgery." 

In the face of those successive discoveries, every one had 
a word to say. This accumulation of facts was looked 
down upon by that category of people who borrow assur- 
ance from a mixture of ignorance or prejudice. Others, on 
the other hand, amongst whom the greatest were to be 
found, proclaimed that Pasteur's work was immortal and 
that the word " theory" used by him should be changed into 
that of " doctrine." One of those who thus spoke with the 
right given by full knowledge, was Dr. Sédillot, whose open 
and critical mind had kept him from becoming like the old 
men described by Sainte Beuve as stopping their watch at a 

56 



I877-I879 

given time and refusing to recognize further progress. He 
was formerly Director of the Army Medical School at 
Strasburg, and had already retired in 1870, but had joined 
the army again as volunteer surgeon. It will be remem- 
bered that he had written from the Hagueneau ambulance 
to the Académie des Sciences — of which he was a corre- 
sponding member — to call the attention of his colleagues to 
the horrors of purulent infection, which defied his zeal and 
devotion. 

No one followed Pasteur's work with greater attention 
than this tall, sad-looking old man of seventy-four ; he was 
one of those who had been torn away from his native 
Alsace, and he could not get over it. In March, 1878, he 
read a paper to the Academy, entitled, *' On the Influence 
of M. Pasteur's Work on Medicine and Surgery." 

Those discoveries, he said, which had deeply modified the 
state of surgery, and particularly the treatment of wounds, 
could be traced back to one principle. This principle was 
applicable to various facts, and explained Lister's success, 
and the fact that certain operations had become possible, 
and that certain cases, formerly considered hopeless, were 
now being recorded on all sides. Real progress lay there. 
Sédillot's concluding paragraph deserves to be handed 
down as a comment precious from a contemporary : " We 
shall have seen the conception and birth of a new surgery, 
a daughter of Science and of Art, which will be one of the 
greatest wonders of our century, and with which the names 
of Pasteur and Lister will remain gloriously connected." 

In that treatise, Sédillot invented a new word to charac- 
terize all that body of organisms and infinitely small 
vibriones, bacteria, bacteridia, etc. ; he proposed to designate 
them all under the generic term of microbe. This word had, 
in Sédillot's eyes, the advantage of being short and of hav- 
ing a general signification. He however felt some scruple 

57 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

before using it, and consulted Littré, who replied on Feb- 
ruary 26, 1878: "Dear colleague and friend, microbe and 
microbia are very good words. To designate the animal- 
culse I should give the preference to microbe, because, as 
you say, it is short, and because it leaves microbia, a femi- 
nine noun, for the designation of the state of a microbe." 

Certain philologists criticized the formation of the word 
in the name of the Greek language. Microbe, they said, 
means an animal with a short life, rather than an infinitesi- 
mally small animal. Littré gave a second testimonial to 
the word microbe — 

"It is true," he wrote to Sédillot, "that fiLXpo^to'; and 
fiaxpo^i'O'; probably mean in Greek short-lived and long- 
lived. But, as you justly remark, the question is not what 
is most purely Greek, but what is the use made in our 
language of the Greek roots. Now the Greek has /3toç, life, 
^Lovv, to live, /Stoyç, living, the root of which may very 
well figure under the form of bi, Ma with the sense livitig, 
in aërobia, anaërobia and microbe. I should advise you not 
to trouble to answer criticisms, but let the word stand for 
itself, which it will no doubt do." Pasteur, by adopting it, 
made the whole world familiar with it. 

Though during that month of March, 1878, Pasteur had 
had the pleasure of hearing Sédillot' s prophetic words at 
the Académie des Sciences, he had heard very different 
language at the Académie de Médecine. Colin of Alfort, 
from the isolated corner where he indulged in his misan- 
thropy, had renewed his criticisms of Pasteur. As he 
spoke unceasingly of a state of virulent anthrax devoid 
of bacteridia, Pasteur, losing patience, begged of the 
Académie to nominate a Commission of Arbitration. 

"I desire expressly that M. Colin should be urged to 
demonstrate what he states to be the fact, for his assertion 
implies another, which is that an organic matter, contain- 

58 



I877-I879 

ing neither bacteridia nor germs of bacteridia, produces 
within the body of a living animal the bacteridia of anthrax. 
This would be the spontaneous generation of the bacillus 
anthracis !" 

Colin's antagonism to Pasteur was such that he contra- 
dicted him in every point and on every subject. Pasteur 
having stated that birds, and notably hens, did not take the 
charbon disease, Colin had hastened to say that nothing 
was easier than to give anthrax to hens ; this was in July, 
1877, Pasteur, who was at that moment sending Colin 
some samples of bacteridia culture which he had promised 
him, begged that he would kindly bring him in exchange a 
hen suffering from that disease, since it could contract it 
so easily. 

Pasteur told the story of this episode in March, 1878 ; it 
was an amusing interlude in the midst of those technical 
discussions. "At the end of the week, I saw M. Colin 
coming into my laboratory, and, even before I shook hands 
with him, I said to him : ' Why, you have not brought me 
that diseased hen ? ' — 'Trust me,' answered M. Colin, 'you 
shall have it next week.' — I left for the vacation ; on my 
return, and at the first meeting of the Academy which I 
attended, I went to M. Colin and said, ' Well, where is my 
dying hen ? ' 'I have only just begun experimenting again,' 
said M. Colin ; ' in a few days I will bring you a hen suffer- 
ing from charbon.' — Days and weeks went by, with fresh 
insistence on my part and new promises from M. Colin. 
One day, about two months ago, M. Colin owned to me that 
he had been mistaken, and that it was impossible to give 
anthrax to a hen. ' Well, my dear colleague,' I said to him, 
' I will show you that it is possible to give anthrax to hens ; 
in fact, I will one day myself bring you at Alfort a hen 
which shall die of charbon.' 

" I have told the Academy this story of the hen M. Colin 

59 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

had promised in order to show that our colleague's contra- 
diction of our observations on charbon had never been very 
serious." 

Colin, after speaking about several other things, ended by- 
saying : "I regret that I have not until now been able to 
hand to M. Pasteur a hen dying or dead of anthrax. The 
two that I had bought for that purpose were inoculated 
several times with very active blood, but neither of them 
has fallen ill. Perhaps the experiment might have 
succeeded afterwards, but, one fine day, a greedy dog 
prevented that by eating up the two birds, whose cage 
had probably been badly closed." On the Tuesday which 
followed this incident, the passers-by were somewhat sur- 
prised to see Pasteur emerging from the Ecole Normale, 
carrying a cage, within which were three hens, one of 
them dead. Thus laden, he took a fiacre, and drove to 
the Académie de Médecine, where, on arriving, he deposited 
this unexpected object on the desk. He explained that the 
dead hen had been inoculated with charbon two days before, 
at twelve o'clock on the Sunday, with five drops of yeast water 
employed as a nutritive liquid for pure bacteridium germs, 
and that it had died on the Monday at five o'clock, twenty- 
nine hours' after the inoculation. He also explained, in his 
own name, and in the names of Messrs. Joubert and 
Chamberland, how in the presence of the curious fact that 
hens were refractory to charbon, it had occurred to them to 
see whether that singular and hitherto mysterious preserva- 
tion did not have its cause in the temperature of a hen's 
body, " higher by several degrees than the temperature of 
the body of all the animal species which can be decimated 
by charbon." 

This preconceived idea was followed by an ingenious 
experiment. In order to lower the temperature of an in- 
oculated hen's body, it was kept for some time in a bath, 

60 



I877-I879 

the water covering one-third of its body. When treated 
in that way, said Pasteur, the hen dies the next day. " All 
its blood, spleen, lungs, and liver are filled with bacilli 
anthracis susceptible of ulterior cultures either in inert 
liquids or in the bodies of animals. We have not met with 
a single exception." 

As a proof of the success of the experiment, the white 
hen lay on the floor of the cage. As people might be forth- 
coming, even at the Academy, who would accuse the pro- 
longed bath of having caused death, one of the two living 
hens, a gray one, who was extremely lively, had been 
placed in the same bath, at the same temperature and 
during the same time. The third one, a black hen, also in 
perfect health, had been inoculated at the same time as the 
white hen, with the same liquid, but with ten drops instead 
of five, to make the comparative result more convincing ; 
it had not been subjected to the bath treatment. " You can 
see how healthy it is," said Pasteur ; " it is therefore im- 
possible to doubt that the white hen died of charbon ; besides, 
the fact is proven by the bacteridia which fill its body." 

A fourth experiment remained to be tried on a fourth hen, 
but the Academy of Medicine did not care to hold an all- 
night sitting. Time lacking, it was only done later, in the 
laboratory. Could a hen, inoculated of charbon and placed 
in a bath, recover and be cured merely by being taken out 
of its bath ? A hen was taken, inoculated and held down a 
prisoner in a bath, its feet fastened to the bottom of the tub, 
until it was obvious that the disease was in full progress. 
The hen was then taken out of the water, dried, and wrapped 
up in cotton wool and placed in a temperature of 35° C. 
The bacteridia were reabsorbed by the blood, and the hen 
recovered completely. 

This was, indeed, a most suggestive experiment, proving 
that the mere fall of temperature from 42° C. (the tempera- 

61 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

ture of liensl to 38° C. was sufficient to cause a receptive 
condition ; tlie hen, brought down b}' immersion to the 
temperature of rabbits or guinea-pigs, became a victim 
like them. 

Between Sédillot's enthusiasm and Colins perpetual con- 
tradiction, man}' attentive surgeons and physicians were 
taking a middle course, watching for Pasteur's results and 
ultimately accepting them ^vith admiration. Such was the 
state of mind of ]SI. Lereboullet, an editor of the Weekly 
Gazette of Medicine and Surgery, who wrote in an account 
of the Académie de Médecine meeting that " those facts 
throw a new light on the theor}' of the genesis and develop- 
ment of the bacillus anthracis. They will be ascertained 
and verified by other experimentalists, and it seems very 
probable that M. Pasteur, who never brings any premature 
or conjectural assertion to the academic tribune, will deduce 
from them conclusions of the greatest interest concerning 
the etiology of virulent diseases." 

But even to those who admired Pasteur as much as did 
M. Lereboullet, it did not seem that such an important part 
should immediatel}'- be attributed to microbes. Towards 
the end of his report (dated March 22, 1878) he reminded 
his readers that a discussion was open at the Académie de 
Médecine, and that the surgeon, Léon Le Fort, did not 
admit the germ theor}^ in its entirety. M. Le Fort recog- 
nised " all the services rendered to surgery by laboratory 
studies, chiefly by calling attention to certain accidents of 
wounds and sores, and by provoking new researches with a 
view to improving methods of dressing and bandaging." 
"Like all his colleagues at the Academy, and like our 
eminent master, M. Sédillot," added M. Lereboullet, "M. Le 
Fort renders homage to the work of INI. Pasteur ; but he 
remains within his rights as a practitioner and reserves his 
opinion as to its general application to surgery." 

62 



I877-I879 

This was a mild way of putting it ; M. Le Fort's words 
were, " That theory, in its applications to clinical surgery, is 
absolutely inacceptable." For him, the original purulent 
infection, though coming from the wound, was born under 
the influence of general and local phenomena within the 
patient, and not outside him. He believed that the economy 
had the power, under various influences, to produce purulent 
infection. A septic poison was created, born spontaneously, 
which was afterwards carried to other patients by such 
medicines as the tools and bandages and the hands of the 
surgeon. But, originally, before the propagation of the 
contagium germ, a purulent infection was spontaneously 
produced and developed. And, in order to put his teaching 
into forcible words, M. Le Fort declared to the Académie 
de Médecine: " I believe in the interiority of the principle ot 
purulent infection in certain patients ; that is why I oppose 
the extension to surgery of the germ theory which pro- 
claims the constant exteriority of that principle." 

Pasteur rose, and with his firm, powerful voice, exclaimed, 
" Before the Academy accepts the conclusion of the paper 
we have just heard, before the application of the germ 
theory to pathology is condemned, I beg that I may be 
allowed to make a statement of the researches I am 
engaged in with the collaboration of Messrs. Joubert and 
Chamberland." 

His impatience was so great that he formulated then and 
there some headings for the lecture he was preparing, 
propositions on septicaemia or putrid infection, on the septic 
vibrio itself, on the germs of that vibrio carried by wind 
in the shape of dust, or suspended in water, on the vitality 
of those germs, etc. He called attention to the mistakes 
which might be made if, in that new acquaintance with 
microbes, their morphologic aspect alone was taken account 
of. " The septic vibrio, for instance, varies so much in its 

63 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

shape, length and thickness, according to the media wherein 
it is cultivated, that one would think one was dealing with 
beings specifically distinct from each other." 

It was on April 30, 1878, that Pasteur read that celebrated 
lecture on the germ theory, in his own name and in that of 
Messrs. Joubert and Chamberland. It began by a proud 
exordium: "All Sciences gain by mutual support. When, 
subsequently to my early communications on fermentations, 
in 1857-1858, it was admitted that ferments, properly so 
called, are living beings ; that germs of microscopical 
organisms abound on the surface of all objects in the atmo- 
sphere and in water ; that the hypothesis of spontaneous 
generations is a chimera ; that wines, beer, vinegar, blood, 
urine and all the liquids of the economy are preserved from 
their common changes when in contact with pure air — 
Medicine and Surgery cast their eyes towards these new 
lights. A French physician, M. Davaine, made a first suc- 
cessful application of those principles to medicine in 1863." 

Pasteur himself, elected to the Académie des Sciences as 
a mineralogist, proved by the concatenation of his studies 
within the last thirty years that Science was indeed one 
and all embracing. Having thus called his audience's 
attention to the bonds which connect one scientific subject 
with another, Pasteur proceeded to show the connection 
between his yesterday's researches on the etiology of 
Charbon to those he now pursued on septicaemia. He hastily 
glanced back on his successful cultures of the bacillus 
anthracis, and on the certain, indisputable proof that the 
last culture acted equally with the first in producing 
charbon within the body of animals. He then owned to the 
failure, at first, of a similar method of cultivating the 
septic vibrio : "All our first experiments failed in spite of 
the variety of culture media that we used; beer yeast 
water, meat broth, etc., etc. ..." 

64 



I877-I879 

He then expounded, in the most masterly manner: (i) the 
idea which had occurred to him that this vibrio might be 
an exclusively anaerobic organism, and that the sterility of 
the liquids might proceed from the fact that the vibrio was 
killed by the oxygen held in a state of solution by those 
liquids; (2) the similarity offered by analogous facts in 
connection with the vibrio of butyric fermentation, which 
not only lives without air, but is killed by air; (3) the 
attempts made to cultivate the septic vibrio in a vacuum or 
in the presence of carbonic acid gas, and the success of 
both those attempts ; and, finally, as the result of the fore- 
going, the proof obtained that the action of the air kills the 
septic vibriones, which are then seen to perish, under the 
shape of moving threads, and ultimately to disappear, as if 
burnt away by oxygen. 

" If it is terrifying," said Pasteur, "to think that life may 
be at the mercy of the multiplication of those infinitesimally 
small creatures, it is also consoling to hope that Science will 
not always remain powerless before such enemies, since it 
is already now able to inform us that the simple contact 
of air is sometimes sufficient to destroy them. But," he 
continued, meeting his hearers' possible arguments, "if 
oxygen destroys vibriones, how can septicaemia exist, as it 
does, in the constant presence of atmospheric air ? How 
can those facts be reconciled with the germ theory ? How 
can blood exposed to air become septic through the dusts 
contained in air? All is dark, obscure and open to dis- 
pute when the cause of the phenomena is not known ; all is 
light when it is grasped." 

In a septic liquid exposed to the contact of air, vibriones 
die and disappear ; but, below the surface, in the depths of 
the liquid — (one centimetre of septic liquid may in this case 
be called depthsj, "the vibriones are protected against the 
action of oxygen by their brothers, who are dying above 

VOL. II. 65 F 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

them, and they continue for a time to multiply by division ; 
they afterwards produce germs or spores, the filiform vi- 
briones themselves being gradually reabsorbed. Instead of 
a quantity of moving thi-eads, the length of which often 
extends beyond the field of the microscope, nothing is seen 
but a dust of isolated, shin}'- specks, sometimes surrounded 
by a sort of amorphous gangue hardl}^ visible. Here then 
is the septic dust, living the latent life of germs, no longer 
fearing the destructive action of oxygen, and we are now 
prepared to understand what seemed at first so obscure : 
the sowing of septic dust into putrescible liquids by the 
surrounding atmosphere, and the permanence of putrid 
diseases on the surface of the earth." 

Pasteur continued from this to open a parenthesis on 
diseases "transmissible, contagious, infectious, of which 
the cause resides essentially and solely in the presence of 
microscopic organisms. It is the proof that, for a certain 
number of diseases, we must for ever abandon the ideas of 
spontaneous virulence, of contagious and infectious elements 
suddenly produced within the bodies of men or of animals 
and originating diseases afterwards propagated under 
identical shapes ; all those opinions fatal to medical pro- 
gress and which are engendered by the gratuitous hypo- 
theses of the spontaneous generation of albuminoid-ferment 
materia, of hemiorganism, of archebiosis, and many other 
conceptions not founded on observation." 

Pasteur recommended the following experiment to sur- 
geons. After cutting a fissure into a leg of mutton, by 
means of a bistoury, he introduced a drop of septic vibrio 
culture; the vibrio immediately did its work. "The meat 
under those conditions becomes quite gangrened, green on 
its surface, swollen with gases, and is easily crushed into a 
disgusting, sanious pulp." And addressing the surgeons 
present at the meeting : "The water, the sponge, the charpie 

66 



I877-I879 

with which you wash or dress a wound, lay on its surface 
germs which, as you see, have an extreme facility of propa- 
gating within the tissues, and which would infallibly bring 
about the death of the patients within a very short time if 
life in their limbs did not oppose the multiplication of 
germs. But how often, alas, is that vital resistance power- 
less ! how often do the patient's constitution, his weakness, 
his moral condition, the unhealthy dressings, oppose but an 
insufficient barrier to the invasion of the Infinitesimally Small 
with which you have covered the injured part ! If I had 
the honour of being a surgeon, convinced as I am of the 
dangers caused by the germs of microbes scattered on the 
surface of every object, particularly in the hospitals, not 
only would I use absolutely clean instruments, but, after 
cleansing my hands with the greatest care and putting 
them quickly through a flame, (an easy thing to do with a 
little practice), I would only make use of charpie, bandages, 
and spunges which had previously been raised to a heat of 
i30°C. to i5o°C. ; I would only employ water which had been 
heated to a temperature of 110° to i2o°C. All that is easy in 
practice, and, in that way, I should still have to fear the 
germs suspended in the atmosphere surrounding the bed of 
the patient ; but observation shows us every day that the 
number of those germs is almost insignificant compared to 
that of those which lie scattered on the surface of objects, 
or in the clearest ordinary water." 

He came down to the smallest details, seeing in each one 
an application of the rigorous principles which were to 
transform Surgery, Medicine and Hygiene, How many 
human lives have since then been saved by the dual 
development of that one method! The defence against 
microbes afforded by the substances which kill them or 
arrest their development, such as carbolic acid, sublimate, 
iodoform, salol, etc., etc., constitutes antisepsis] then the 

67 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

other progress, born of the first, the obstacle opposed to the 
arrival of the microbes and germs by complete disinfection, 
absolute cleanliness of the instruments and hands, of all 
which is to come into contact with the patient ; in one word, 
asepsis. 

It might have been prophesied at that date that Pasteur's 
surprised delight at seeing his name gratefully inscribed on 
the great Italian establishment of sériciculture would one 
day be surpassed by his happiness in living to see realized 
some of the progress and benefits due to him, his name 
invoked in all operating theatres, engraved over the doors 
of medical and surgical wards, and a new era inaugurated. 

A presentiment of the future deliverance of Humanity 
from those redoubtable microscopic foes gave Pasteur a fever 
for work, a thirst for new research, and an immense hope. 
But once again he constrained himself, refrained from throw- 
ing himself into varied studies, and, continuing what he 
had begun, reverted to his studies on splenic fever. 

The neighbourhood of Chartres being most afflicted, the 
Minister of Agriculture, anticipating the wish of the Conseil 
Général of the department of Eure et Loir, had entrusted 
Pasteur with the mission of studying the causes of so- 
called spontaneous charbon, that which bursts out unex- 
pectedly in a flock, and of seeking for curative and preven- 
tive means of opposing the evil. Thirty-six years earlier, 
the learned veterinary surgeon, Delafond, had been sent to 
seek, particularly in the Beauce country, the causes of the 
charbon disease. Bouley, a great reader, said that there 
was no contrast more instructive than that which could be 
seen between the reasoning method followed by Delafond, 
and the experimental method practised by Pasteur. It was 
in 1842 that Delafond received from M. Cunin Gridaine, 
then Minister of Agriculture, the mission of "going to 
study that malady on the spot, to seek for its causes, and to 

68 



I877-I879 

examine particularly whether those causes did not reside in 
the mode of culture in use in that part of the country." 
Delafond arrived in the Beauce, and, having seen that the 
disease struck the strongest sheep, it occurred to him that 
it came from " an excess of blood circulating in the vessels." 
He concluded from that that there might be a correlation 
between the rich blood of the Beauce sheep and the rich 
nitrogenous pasture of their food. 

He therefore advised the cultivators to diminish the 
daily ration; and he was encouraged in his views by 
noting that the frequency of the disease diminished in poor, 
damp, or sandy soils. 

Bouley, in order to show up Delafond's efforts to make 
facts accord with his reasoning, added that to explain " a 
disease, of which the essence is general plethora, becoming 
contagious and expressing itself by charbon symptoms in 
man," Delafond had imagined that the atmosphere of the 
pens, into which the animals were crowded, was laden with 
evil gases and putrefying emanations which produced an 
alteration of the blood " due at the same time to a slow 
asphyxia and to the introduction through the lungs of 
septic elements into the blood." 

It would have been but justice to recall other researches 
connected with Delafond's name. In 1863, Delafond had 
collected some blood infected with charbon, and, at a time 
when such experiments had hardly been thought of, he had 
attempted some experiments on the development of the 
bacteridium, under a watch glass, at the normal blood 
temperature. He had seen the little rods grow into fila- 
ments, and compared them to a "very remarkable my- 
celium." " I have vainly tried to see the mechanism of 
fructification," added Delafond, " but I hope I still may." 
Death struck down Delafond before he could continue his 
work. 

69 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

In 1869 3- scientific congress was held at Chartres ; one 
of the questions examined being this : " What has been 
done to oppose splenic fever in sheep ?" A veterinary- 
surgeon enumerated the causes which contributed, accord- 
ing to him, to produce and augment mortality by splenic 
fever : bad hygienic conditions ; tainted food, musty or 
cryptogamized ; heated and vitiated air in the crowded pens, 
full of putrid manure ; paludic miasma or effluvia ; damp 
soil flooded by storms, etc., etc. A well known veteri- 
nary surgeon, M. Boutet, saw no other means to preserve 
what remained of a stricken flock but to take it to another 
soil, which, in contradiction with his colleague, he thought 
should be chosen cool and damp. No conclusion could be 
drawn. The disastrous loss caused by splenic fever in the 
Beauce alone was terrible ; it was said to have reached 
20,000,000 francs in some particularly bad years. The 
migration of the tainted flock seemed the only remedy, but 
it was difficult in practice and offered danger to other 
flocks, as carcases of dead sheep were wont to mark the 
road that had been followed. 

Pasteur, starting from the fact that the charbon disease 
is produced by the bacteridium, proposed to prove that, in a 
department like that of Eure et Loir, the disease main- 
tained itself by itself. When an animal dies of splenic 
fever in a field, it is frequently buried in the very spot 
where it fell ; thus a focus of contagion is created, due to 
the anthrax spores mixed with the earth where other flocks 
are brought to graze. Those germs, thought Pasteur, are 
probably like the germs of the flachery vibrio, which 
survive from one year to another and transmit the disease. 
He proposed to study the disease on the spot. 

It almost always happened that, when he was most 
anxious to give himself up entirely to the study of a 
problem, some new discussion was started to hinder him. 

70 



I877-Ï879 

He had certainly thought that the experimental power of 
giving, anthrax to hens had been fully demonstrated, and 
that that question was dead, as dead as the inoculated and 
immersed hen. 

Colin, however, returned to the subject, and at an 
Academy meeting of July 9 said somewhat insolently, " I 
wish we could have seen the bacteridia of that dead hen 
which M. Pasteur showed us without taking it out of its 
cage, and which he took away intact instead of making us 
witness the necropsy and microscopical examination." 
" I will take no notice," said Pasteur at the following meet- 
ing, "of the malevolent insinuations contained in that 
sentence, and only consider M. Colin's desire to hold in his 
tiands the body of a hen dead of anthrax, full of bacteridia. 
I will, therefore, ask M. Colin if he will accept such a hen 
under the following condition: the necropsy and micro- 
scopic examination shall be made by himself, in my 
presence, and in that of one of our colleagues of this 
Academy, designated by himself or by this Academy, and 
an official report shall be drawn up and signed by the per- 
sons present. So shall it be well and duly stated that M. 
Colin's conclusions, in his paper of May 14, are null and 
void. The Academy will understand my insistence in 
rejecting M. Colin's superficial contradictions. 

" I say it here with no sham modesty : I have always 
considered that my only right to a seat in this place is that 
given me by your great kindness, for I have no medical or 
veterinary knowledge. I therefore consider that I must be 
more scrupulously exact than any one else in the presenta- 
tions which I have the honour to make to you ; I should 
promptly lose all credit if I brought you erroneous or 
merely doubtful facts. If ever I am mistaken, a thing 
which may happen to the most scrupulous, it is because my 
good faith has been greatly surprised. 

71 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

" On the other hand, I have come amongst you with a 
programme to follow which demands accuracy at every 
step. I can tell you my programme in two words : I have 
sought for twenty years, and I am still seeking, spontaneous 
generation properly so-called. 

" If God permit, I shall seek for twenty years and more 
the spontaneous generation of transmissible diseases. 

" In these difficult researches, whilst sternly deprecating 
frivolous contradiction, I only feel esteem and gratitude 
towards those who may warn me if I should be in error." 

The Academy decided that the necropsy and microscopic 
examination of the dead hen which Pasteur was to bring to 
Colin should take place in the presence of a Commission 
composed of Pasteur, Colin, Davaine, Bouley, and Vulpian. 
This Commission met on the following Saturday, July 20, 
in the Council Chamber of the Academy of Medicine. M. 
Armand Moreau, a member of the Academy, joined the five 
members present, partly out of curiosity, and partly because 
he had special reasons for wishing to speak to Pasteur after 
the meeting. 

Three hens were lying on the table, all of them dead. 
The first one had been inoculated under the thorax with 
five drops of yeast water slightly alkalized, which had been 
given as a nutritive medium to some bacteridia anthracis ; 
the hen had been placed in a bath at 25° C, and had died 
within twenty-two hours. The second one, inoculated with 
ten drops of a culture liquid, had been placed in a warmer 
bath, 30° C, and had died in thirty-six hours. The third 
hen, also inoculated and immersed, had died in forty-six 
hours. 

Besides those three dead hens, there was a living one 
which had been inoculated in the same way as the first hen. 
This one had remained for forty-three hours with one-third of 
its body immersed in a barrel of water. When it was seen 

72 



I877-I879 

in the laboratory that its temperature had gone down to 
36° C, that it was incapable of eating and seemed very ill, 
it was taken out of the tub that very Saturday morning, 
and warmed in a stove at 42° C. It was now getting 
better, though still weak, and gave signs of an excellent 
appetite before leaving the Academy council chamber. 

The third hen, which had been inoculated with ten drops, 
was dissected then and there. ' Bouley, after noting a serous 
infiltration at the inoculation focus, showed to the judges 
sitting in this room, thus suddenly turned into a testing 
laboratory, numerous bacteridia scattered throughout every 
part of the hen. 

" After those ascertained results," wrote Bouley, who 
drew up the report, " M. Colin declared that it was useless 
to proceed to the necropsy of the two other hens, that 
which had just been made leaving no doubt of the presence 
of bacilli anthracis in the blood of a hen inoculated with 
charbon and then placed under the conditions designated 
by M. Pasteur as making inoculation efficacious. 

" The hen No. 2 has been given up to M. Colin to be used 
for any examination or experiment which he might like to 
try at Alfort. 

" Signed : G. Colin, H. Bouley, C. Da vaine, L. Pasteur, 
A. Vulpian." 

"This is a precious autograph, headed as it is by M. 
Colin's signature ! " gaily said Bouley. But Pasteur, 
pleased as he was with this conclusion, which put an end 
to all discussion on that particular point, was already 
turnine^ his thoughts into another channel. The Acade- 
mician who had joined the members of the Commission 
was showing him a number of the Revue Scientifique 
which had appeared that morning, and which contained an 
article of much interest to Pasteur. 

In October, 1877, Claude Bernard, staying for the last 

73 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

time at St. Julien, near Villefranche, had begun some 
experiments on fermentations. He had continued them on 
his return to Paris, alone, in the study which was above his 
laboratory at the Collège de France. 

When Paul Bert, his favourite pupil, M. d'Arsonval, his 
curator, M. Dastre, a former pupil, and M. Armand Moreau, 
his friend, came to see him, he said to them in short, 
enigmatical sentences, with no comment or experimental 
demonstration, that he had done some good work during 
the vacation. " Pasteur will have to look out . . . 
Pasteur has only seen one side of the question ... I 
make alcohol without cells . . . There is no life without 
air . . ." 

Bernard's and Pasteur's seats at the Academy of Sciences 
were next to each other, and they usually enjoyed inter- 
changing ideas. Claude Bernard had come to the November 
and December sittings, but, with a reticence to which he 
had not accustomed Pasteur, he had made no allusion to his 
October experiments. In January, 1878, he became seriously 
ill ; in his conversations with M. d'Arsonval, who was 
affectionately nursing him, Claude Bernard talked of his 
next lecture at the Museum, and said that he would discuss 
his ideas with Pasteur before handling the subject of 
fermentations. At the end of January M. d'Arsonval 
alluded to these incomplete revelations. "It is all in my 
head," said Claude Bernard, " but I am too tired to explain 
it to you." He made the same weary answer two or three 
days before his death. When he succumbed, on February 
10, 1878, Paul Bert, M. d'Arsonval and M. Dastre thought 
it their duty to ascertain whether their master had left any 
notes relative to the work which embodied his last thoughts. 
M. d'Arsonval, after a few days' search, discovered some 
notes, carefully hidden in a cabinet in Claude Bernard's 
bedroom ; they were all dated from the ist to the 20th of 

74 



I 877- I 879 

October, 1877 ; of November and December, there was no 
record. Had he then not continued his experiments during 
that period ? Paul Bert thought that these notes did not 
represent a work, not even a sketch, but a sort of pro- 
gramme. " It was all condensed into a series of masterly- 
conclusions," said Paul Bert, " which evidenced certitude, but 
there were no means of discussing through which channel 
that certitude had come to his prudent and powerful mind." 
What should be done with those notes? Claude Bernard's 
three followers decided to publish them. "We must," said 
Paul Bert, " while telling the conditions under which the 
manuscript was found, give it its character of incomplete 
notes, of confidences made to itself by a great mind seeking 
its way, and marking its road indiscriminately with facts 
and with hypotheses in order to arrive at that feeling of 
certainty which, in the mind of a man of genius, often 
precedes proof." M. Berthelot, to whom the manuscript 
was brought, presented these notes to the readers of the 
Revue Scientifique. He pointed to their character, too 
abbreviated to conclude with a rigorous demonstration, but 
he explained that several friends and pupils of Claude 
Bernard had "thought that there would be some interest 
for Science in preserving the trace of the last subjects of 
thought, however incomplete, of that great mind." 

Pasteur, after the experiment at the Académie de Méde- 
cine, hurried back to his laboratory and read with avidity 
those last notes of Claude Bernard. Were they a precious 
find, explaining the secrets Claude Bernard had hinted at ? 
"Should I," said Pasteur, "have to defend my work, this 
time against that colleague and friend for whom I professed 
deep admiration, or should I come across unexpected revela- 
tions, weakening and discrediting the results I thought I 
had definitely established?" 

His reading reassured him on that point, but saddened 

75 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

him on the other hand. Since Claude Bernard had neither 
desired nor even authorized the publication of those notes, 
why, said Pasteur, were the}^ not accompanied by an experi- 
mental commentar}" ? Thus Claude Bernard would have 
been credited with what was good in his MSS., and he 
would not have been held responsible for what was in- 
complete or defective. 

" As for me, personall}^," wrote Pasteur in the first pages 
of his Critical Examination of a Posthumous Work of Claude 
Bernard 07i Fermentation^ "I found myself cruelly puzzled ; 
had I the right to consider Claude Bernard's MS. as the 
expression of his thought, and was I free to criticize it 
thoroughly?" The table of contents and headings of 
chapters in Claude Bernard's incomplete MS. condemned 
Pasteur's work on alcoholic fermentation. The non- 
existence of life without air ; the ferment not originated by 
exterior germs ; alcohol formed by a soluble ferment outside 
life . . . such were Claude Bernard's conclusions. 
" If Claude Bernard was convinced," thought Pasteur, 
" that he held the key to the masterly conclusions with 
which he ended his manuscript, what could have been his 
motive in withholding it from me ? I looked back upon the 
many marks of kindly affection which he had given me 
since T entered on a scientific career, and I came to the 
conclusion that the notes left by Bernard were but a 
programme of studies, that he had tackled the subject, and 
that, following in this a method habitual to him, he had, the 
better to discover the truth, formed the intention of trying 
experiments which might contradict my opinions and 
results." 

Pasteur, much perplexed, resolved to put the case before 
his colleagues, and did so two days later. He spoke of 
Bernard's silence, his abstention from any allusion at their 
weekly meetings. "It seems to me almost impossible," he 

76 



I877-I879 

said, " and I wonder that those who are publishing these 
notes have not perceived that it is a very delicate thing to 
take upon oneself, with no authorization from the author, 
the making public of private notebooks ! Which of us 
would care to think it might be done to him ! . . . 
Bernard must have put before himself that leading idea, 
that I was in the wrong on every point, and taken that 
method of preparing the subject he intended to study." 
Such was also the opinion of those who remembered that 
Claude Bernard's advice invariably was that every theory 
should be doubted at first and only trusted when found 
capable of resisting objections and attacks. 

" If then, in the intimacy of conversation with his friends 
and the yet more intimate secret of notes put down on 
paper and carefully put away, Claude Bernard develops a 
plan of research with a view to judging of a theory — if he 
imagines experiments — he is resolved not to speak about it 
until those experiments have been clearly checked; we 
should therefore not take from his notes the most expressly 
formulated propositions without reminding ourselves that 
all that was but a project, and that he meant to go once 
again through the experiments he had already made." 

Pasteur declared himself ready to answer any one who 
would defend those experiments which he looked upon as 
doubtful, erroneous, or wrongly interpreted. " In the 
opposite case," he said, " out of respect for Claude Bernard's 
memory, I will repeat his experiments before discussing 
them." 

Some Academicians discoursed on these notes as on 
simple suggestions and advised Pasteur to continue his 
studies without allowing himself to be delayed by mere 
control experiments. Others considered these notes as the 
expression of Claude Bernard's thought. " That opinion," 
said Pasteur — man of sentiment as he was — "that opinion, 

77 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

however, does not explain the enigma of his silence towards 
me. But why should I look for that explanation elsewhere 
than in mj- intimate knowledge of his fine character? 
Was not his silence a new proof of his kindness, and one of 
the effects of our mutual esteem ? Since he thought that he 
held in his hands a proof that the interpretation I had given 
to my experiments was fallacious, did he not simply wish 
to wait to inform me of it until the time when he thought 
himself ready for a definite statement ? I prefer to attribute 
high motives to my friend's actions, and, in my opinion, the 
surprise caused in me by his reserve towards the one 
colleague whom his work most interested should give way 
in my heart to feelings of pious gratitude. However, 
Bernard would have been the first to remind me that 
scientific truth soars above the proprieties of friendship, and 
that my duty lies in discussing views and opinions in my 
turn with full liberty." 

Pasteur having made this communication to the Academy 
on July 22, hastily ordered three glass houses, which he 
intended to take with him into the Jura, " where I possess, 
he told his colleagues, " a vineyard occupying some thirty 
or forty square yards." 

Two observations expounded in a chapter of his Studies 
on Beev tend to establish that yeast can only appear about 
the time when grapes ripen, and that it disappears in the 
winter only to show itself again at the end of the summer." 
Therefore " germs of yeast do not yet exist on green 
grapes." "We are," he added, "at an epoch in the year 
w^hen, by reason of the lateness of vegetation due to a cold 
and rainy season, grapes are still in the green stage in the 
vineyards of Arbois. If I choose this moment to enclose 
some vines in almost hermetically closed glass houses, I 
shall have in October during the vintage some vines bearing 
ripe grapes without the exterior germs of wine yeast. 

78 



I877-I879 

Those grapes, crushed with precautions which will not 
allow of the introduction of yeast germs, will neither 
ferment nor produce wine. I shall give myself the pleasure 
of bringing some back to Paris, to present them to the 
Academy and to offer a few bunches to those of our 
colleagues who are still able to believe in the spontaneous 
generation of yeast." 

In the midst of the agitation caused by that posthumous 
work some said, or only insinuated, that if Pasteur was 
announcing new researches on the subject, it was because 
he felt that his work was threatened. 

" I will not accept such an interpretation of my conduct," 
he wrote to J. B. Dumas on August 4, 1878, at the very 
time when he was starting for the Jura ; I have clearly 
explained this in my notice of July 22, when I said I 
would make new experiments solely from respect to 
Bernard's memory." 

As soon as Pasteur's glass houses arrived, they were put 
up in the little vineyard he possessed, two kilometres from 
Arbois. While they were being put together, he examined 
whether the yeast germs were really absent from the 
bunches of green grapes ; he had the satisfaction of seeing 
that it was so, and that the particular branches which were 
about to be placed under glass did not bear a trace of yeast 
germs. Still, fearing that the closing of the glass might be 
insufficient and that there might thus be a danger of germs, 
he took the precaution, " while leaving some bunches free, 
of wrapping a few on each plant with cotton wool previously 
heated to 150° C." 

He then returned to Paris and his studies on anthrax, 
whilst patiently waiting for the ripening of his grapes. 

Besides M. Chamberland, Pasteur had enrolled M. Roux, 
the young man who was so desirous of taking part in the 
work at the laboratory. He and M. Chamberland were to 

79 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

settle down at Chartres in the middle of the summer. A 
recent student of the Alfort Veterinary School, M. Vinsot, 
joined them at his own request. M. Roux has told of those 
days in a paper on Pasteur's Medical Work : 

"Our guide was M. Boutet, who had unrivalled know- 
ledge of the splenic fever country, and we sometimes met 
M. Toussaint, who was studying the same subject as we 
were. We have kept a pleasant memory of that campaign 
against charbon in the Chartres neighbourhood. Early in 
the morning, we would visit the sheepfolds scattered on 
that wide plateau of the Beauce, dazzling with the splen- 
dour of the August sunshine ; then necropsies took place in 
M. Rabourdin's knacker's yard or in the farmyards. In 
the afternoon, we edited our experiment notebooks, wrote 
to Pasteur, and arranged for new experiments. The day 
was well filled, and how interesting and salutary was that 
bacteriology practised in the open air ! 

" On the days when Pasteur came to Chartres, we did not 
linger over our lunch at the Hôtel de France ; we drove off 
to St. Germain, where M. Maunoury had kindly put his 
farm and flocks at our disposal. During the drive we 
talked of the week's work and of what remained to be 
done. 

" As soon as Pasteur left the carriage he hurried to the 
folds. Standing motionless by the gate, he would gaze at 
the lots which were being experimented upon, with a care- 
ful attention which nothing escaped ; he would spend hours 
watching one sheep which seemed to him to be sickening. 
We had to remind him of the time and to point out to him 
that the towers of Chartres Cathedral were beginning to 
disappear in the falling darkness before we could prevail 
upon him to come away. He questioned farmers and 
their servants, giving much credit to the opinions of shep- 
herds, who, on account of their solitary life, give their 

80 



I877-I879 

whole attention to their flocks and often become sagacious 
observers." 

When again at Arbois, on September 17, Pasteur began 
to write to the Minister of Agriculture a note on the 
practical ideas suggested by this first campaign. A few 
sheep, bought near Chartres and gathered in a fold, had 
received, amongst the armfuls of forage offered them, a few 
anthrax spores. Nothing had been easier than to bring 
these from the laboratory, in a liquid culture of bacteria, 
and to scatter them on the field where the little flock 
grazed. The first meals did not give good scientific results, 
death was not easily provoked. But when the experimental 
menu was completed by prickly plants, likely to wound 
the sheep on their tongue or in their pharynx, such, for 
instance, as thistles or ears of barley, the mortality began. 
It was perhaps not as considerable as might have been 
wished for demonstration purposes, but nevertheless it was 
sufficient to explain how charbon could declare itself, 
for necropsy showed the characteristic lesions of the so- 
called spontaneous splenic fever. It was also to be con- 
cluded therefrom that the evil begins in the mouth, or at 
the back of the throat, supervening on meals of infected 
food, alone or mixed with prickly plants likely to cause 
abrasion. 

It was therefore necessary, in a department like that of 
Eure et Loir, which must be full of anthrax germs, — parti- 
cularly on the surface of the graves containing carcases of 
animals which had fallen victims to the disease, — that sheep 
farmers should keep from the food of their animals plants 
such as thistles, ears of barley, and sharp pieces of straw ; 
for the least scratch, usually harmless to sheep, became 
dangerous through the possible introduction of the germs of 
the disease, 

"It would also be necessary," wrote Pasteur, "to avoid all 

VOL. II. 81 G 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

probable dififusion of charbon germs through the carcases of 
animals dying of that disease, for it is likely that the de- 
partment of Eure et Loir contains those germs in greater 
quantities than the other departments; splenic fever having 
long been established there, it always goes on, dead animals 
not being disposed of so as to destroy all germs of ulterior 
contagion." 

After finishing this report, Pasteur went to his little 
vineyard on the Besançon road, where he met with a dis- 
appointment ; his precious grapes had not ripened, all the 
strength of the plant seemed to have gone to the wood and 
leaves. But the grapes had their turn at the end of Sep- 
tember and in October, those bunches that were swathed 
in cotton wool as well as those which had remained free 
under the glass ; there was a great difference of colour be- 
tween them, the former being Yerj pale. Pasteur placed 
grapes from the two series in distinct tubes. On October 
10, he compared the grapes of the glass houses, free or 
swathed, with the neighbouring open-air grapes. "The 
result was beyond my expectations ; the tubes of open-air 
grapes fermented with grape yeast after a thirty-six 
or forty-eight hours' sojourn in a stove from 25° C. to 30"" ; 
not one, on the contrary, of the numerous tubes of grapes 
swathed in cotton wool entered into alcoholic fermentation, 
neither did any of the tubes containing grapes ripened free 
under glass. It was the experiment described in my Studies 
on Beer. On the following days I repeated these experi- 
ments with the same results." He went on to another 
experiment. He cut some of the swathed bunches and 
hung them to the vines grown in the open air, thinking 
that those bunches — exactly similar to those which he had 
found incapable of fermentation — would thus get covered 
with the germs of alcoholic ferments, as did the bunches 

82 



I877-I879 

grown in the open air and their wood. After that, the 
bunches taken from under the glass and submitted to the 
usual régime would ferment under the influence of the 
germs which they would receive as well as the others ; this 
was exactly what happened. 

The difficulty now was to bring to the Académie des 
Sciences these branches bearing swathed bunches of grapes ; 
in order to avoid the least contact to the grapes, these vine 
plants, as precious as the rarest orchids, had to be held 
upright all the way from Arbois to Paris. Pasteur came 
back to Paris in a coupé carriage on the express train, 
accompanied by his wife and daughter, who took it in turns 
to carry the vines. At last, they arrived safely at the Ecole 
Normale, and from the Ecole Normale to the Institute, and 
Pasteur had the pleasure of bringing his grapes to his 
colleagues as he had brought his hens. " If you crush 
them while in contact with pure air," he said, " I defy you 
to see them ferment." A long discussion then ensued with 
M. Berthelot, which was prolonged until February, 1879. 

" It is a characteristic of exalted minds," wrote M. Roux, 
" to put passion into ideas. . . . For Pasteur, the 
alcoholic fermentation was correlative with the life of the 
ferment ; for Bernard and M. Berthelot, it was a chemical 
action like any other, and could be accomplished without 
the participation of living cells." " In alcoholic fermenta- 
tion," said M. Berthelot, " a soluble alcoholic ferment may 
be produced, which perhaps consumes itself as its pro- 
duction goes on." 

M. Roux had seen Pasteur try to "extract the soluble 
alcoholic ferment from yeast cells by crushing them in a 
mortar, by freezing them until they burst, or by putting 
them into concentrated saline solutions, in order to force by 
osmose the succus to leave its envelope." Pasteur confessed 

83 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

that his efforts ^vere vain. In a communication to the 
Académie des Sciences on December 30, 1878, he said — 

" It ever is an enigma to me that it should be believed 
that the discovert' of soluble ferments in fermentations 
properly so called, or of the formation of alcohol by 
means of sugar, independently of cells would hamper 
me. It is true — I own it without hesitation, and I am 
read}' to explain myself more lengthilj^ if desired — that at 
present I neither see the necessity for the existence of those 
ferments, nor the usefulness of their action in this order of 
fermentations. Why should actions of diastase^ which are 
but phenomena of hj^dration, be confused with those of 
organized ferments, or vice versa? But I do not see 
that the presence of those soluble substances, if it were 
ascertained, could change in any way the conclusions 
drawn from m.j labours, and even less so if alcohol were 
formed by electrolj^sis. 

" They agree with me who admit : 

" Firstl}'. That fermentations, properly so called, offer 
as an essential condition the presence of microscopic 
organisms. 

" Secondly. That those organisms have not a sponta- 
neous origin. 

" Thirdly. That the life of ever}^ organism which can 
exist away from free oxygen is suddenly concomitant with 
acts of fermentation ; and that it is so with every cell which 
continues to produce chemical action without the contact 
of ox5'gen." 

When Pasteur related this discussion, and formed of it an 
appendix to his book : Critical Examinatio7t 0/ a Posthumous 
Work of Claude Bernard on Fermentatio7ts, his painful feelings 
in opposing a friend who was no more were so clearly 
evidenced that Sainte Claire Deville wrote to him (June 9, 
1879) : " My dear Pasteur, I read a few passages of your 

84 



I877-I879 

new book yesterday to a small party of professors and 
savants. We all were much moved by the expressions with 
which you praise our dear Bernard, and by your feelings 
of friendship and pure fraternity." 

Sainte Claire Deville often spoke of his admiration for 
Pasteur's precision of thought, his forcible speech, the 
clearness of his writings. As for J. B. Dumas, he called 
the attention of his colleagues at the Académie Française 
to certain pages of that Critical Examination. Though 
unaccustomed to those particular subjects, they could not 
but be struck by the sagacity and ingenuity of Pasteur's 
researches, and by the eloquence inspired by his genius. 
A propos of those ferment germs, which turn grape juice 
into wine, and from which he had preserved his swathed 
bunches, Pasteur wrote — 

" What meditations are induced by those results ! It is 
impossible not to observe that, the further we penetrate into 
the experimental study of germs, the more we perceive 
sudden lights and clear ideas on the knowledge of the 
causes of contagious diseases ! Is it not worthy of atten- 
tion that, in that Arbois vineyard (and it would be true of 
the million hectares of vineyards of all the countries in the 
world), there should not have been, at the time when I 
made the aforesaid experiments, one single particle of 
earth which would not have been capable of provoking 
fermentation by a grape yeast, and that, on the other hand, 
the earth of the glass houses I have mentioned should have 
been powerless to fulfil that office ? And why ? Because, 
at a given moment, I covered that earth with some glass. 
The death, if I may so express it, of a bunch of grapes 
thrown at that time on any vineyard, would infallibly have 
occurred through the saccharomyces parasites of which I 
speak ; that kind of death would have been impossible, on 
the contrary, on the little space enclosed by my glass 

85 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

houses. Those few cubic yards of air, those few square 
yards of soil, were there, in the midst of a universal possible 
contagion, and they were safe from it." 

And suddenly looking beyond those questions of yeast 
and vintage, towards the germs of disease and of death : 
"Is it not permissible to believe, by analogy, that a day 
will come when easily applied preventive measures will 
arrest those scourges w^hich suddenly desolate and terrify 
populations ; such as the fearful disease (yellow fever) 
which has recently invaded Senegal and the valley of the 
Mississippi, or that other (bubonic plague), yet more terrible 
perhaps, which has ravaged the banks of the Volga." 

Pasteur, with his quick answers, his tenacious refutations, 
was looked upon as a great fighter by his colleagues at the 
Academy, but in the laboratory, while seeking Claude 
Bernard's soluble ferment, he tackled subjects from which 
he drew conclusions which were amazing to physicians. 

A worker in the laboratory had had a series of furuncles. 
Pasteur, whose proverb was " Seek the microbe," asked him- 
self whether the pus of furuncles might not have an organism, 
which, carried to and fro, — for it may be said that a furuncle 
never comes alone — would explain the centre of inflamma- 
tion and the recurrence of the furuncles. After abstract- 
ing — with the usual purity precautions — some pus from 
three successive furuncles, he found in some sterilized broth, 
a microbe, formed of little rounded specks which clustered 
to the sides of the culture vessel. The same was observed 
on a man whom Dr. Maurice Raynaud, interested in those 
researches on furuncles, had sent to the laboratory, and 
afterwards on a female patient of the Lariboisière Hos- 
pital, whose back was covered with furuncles. Later on, 
Pasteur, taken by Dr. Lannelongue to the Trousseau Hos- 
pital, where a little girl was about to be operated on for that 
disease of the bones and marrow called osteomyelitis, 

86 



I877-I879 

gathered a few drops of pus from the inside and the out- 
side of the bone, and again found clusters of microbes. 
Sown into a culture liquid, this microbe seemed so identical 
with the furuncle organism that " it might be affirmed at 
first sight," said Pasteur, " that osteomyelitis is the furuncle 
of bones." 

The hospital now took as much place in Pasteur's life as 
the laboratory. " Chamberland and I assisted him in those 
studies," writes M. Roux. " It was to the Hôpital Cochin 
or to the Maternité that we went most frequently, taking 
our culture tubes and sterilized pipets into the wards or 
operating theatres. No one knows what feelings of repulsion 
Pasteur had to overcome before visiting patients and 
witnessing post-mortem examinations. His sensibility was 
extreme, and he suffered morally and physically from the 
pains of others ; the cut of the bistoury opening an abscess 
made him wince as if he himself had received it. The 
sight of corpses, the sad business of necropsies, caused him 
real disgust ; we have often seen him go home ill from those 
operating theatres. But his love of science, his desire for 
truth were the stronger ; he returned the next day.'' 

He was highly interested in the study of puerperal fever 
which was still enveloped in profound darkness. Might not 
the application of his theories to the progress of surgery 
be realized in obstetrics? Could not those epidemics be 
arrested which passed like scourges over lying-in hospitals ? 
It was still remembered with horror how, in the Paris 
Maternity Hospital, between April ist and May 10, 1856, 
64 fatalities had taken place out of 347 confinements. The 
hospital had to be closed, and the survivors took refuge at 
the Lariboisière Hospital, where they nearly all succumbed, 
pursued, it was thought, by the epidemic. 

Dr. Tarnier, a student residing at the Maternité during 
that disastrous time, related afterwards how the ignorance 

87 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

of the causes of puerperal fever was such that he was 
sometimes called away, by one of his chiefs, from some 
post-mortem business, to assist in the maternity wards; 
nobody being struck by the thought of the infection which 
might thus be carried from the theatre to the bed of the 
patient. 

The discussion which arose in 1858 at the Académie de 
Médecine lasted four months, and hypotheses of all kinds 
were brought forward. Trousseau alone showed some pre- 
science of the future by noticing an analogy between infec- 
tious surgical accidents and infectious puerperal accidents ; 
the idea of a ferment even occurred to him. Years passed ; 
women of the lower classes looked upon the Maternité as 
the vestibule of death. In 1864, 3 10 deaths occurred out 
of 1)350 confinement cases ; in 1865, the hospital had to be 
closed. Works of cleansing and improvements gave rise 
to a hope that the " epidemic genius " might be driven 
away. " But, at the very beginning of 1866," wrote Dr. 
Trélat, then surgeon-in-chief at the Maternité, " the sani- 
tary condition seemed perturbed, the mortality rose in 
January, and in February we were overwhelmed." Twenty- 
eight deaths had occurred out of 103 cases. 

Trélat enumerated various causes, bad ventilation, neigh- 
bouring wards, etc., but where was the origin of the evil? 

" Under the influence of causes which escape us," wrote 
M. Léon Lefort about that time, " puerperal fever develops 
in a recently delivered woman; she becomes a centre ot 
infection, and, if that infection is freely exercised, the epi- 
demic is constituted." 

Tarnier, who took Trélat's place at the Maternité, in 1867, 
had been for eleven years so convinced of the infectious 
nature of puerperal fever that he thought but of arresting 
the evil by every possible means of defence, the first of 
which seemed to him isolation of the patients. 

88 



I877-I879 

In 1874, Dr. Budin, then walking the hospitals, had noted 
in Edinburgh the improvement due to antisepsis, thanks to 
Lister. Three or four years later, in 1877 and 1878, after 
having seen that, in the various maternity hospitals of 
Holland, Germany, Austria, Russia and Denmark, anti- 
sepsis was practised with success, he brought his impres- 
sions with him to Paris. Tarnier hastened to employ 
carbolic acid at the Maternité with excellent results, and 
his assistant, M. Bar, tried sublimate. While that new 
period of victory over fatal cases was beginning, Pasteur 
came to the Académie de Médecine, having found, in certain 
puerperal infections, a microbe in the shape of a chain or 
chaplet, which lent itself very well to culture. 

" Pasteur," wrote M. Roux, " does not hesitate to declare 
that that microscopic organism is the most frequent cause 
of infection in recently delivered women. One day, in a 
discussion on puerperal fever at the Academy, one of 
his most weighty colleagues was eloquently enlarging upon 
the causes of epidemics in lying-in-hospitals ; Pasteur inter- 
rupted him from his place. ' None of those things cause 
the epidemic ; it is the nursing and medical staff who carry 
the microbe from an infected woman to a healthy one.' 
And as the orator replied that he feared that microbe 
would never be found, Pasteur went to the blackboard and 
drew a diagram of the chain-like organism, saying: 
' There, that is what it is like ! ' His conviction was so 
deep that he could not help expressing it forcibly. It would 
be impossible now to picture the state of surprise and 
stupefaction into which he would send the students and 
doctors in hospitals, when, with an assurance and sim- 
plicity almost disconcerting in a man who was entering a 
lying-in ward for the first time, he criticized the appliances, 
and declared that all the linen should be put into a steriliz- 
ing stove." 

89 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Pasteur was not satisfied with offering advice and criti- 
cism, making for himself irreconcilable enemies amongst 
those who were more desirous of personal distinction than 
of the progress of Science. In order the better to convince 
those who still doubted, he affirmed that, in a badly infected 
patient — what he usually and sorrowfully called an invaded 
patient — he could bring the microbe into evidence by a 
simple pin prick on the finger tip of the unhappy^ woman 
doomed to die the next day. 

" And he did so," writes M. Roux. " In spite of the 
tyranny of medical education which weighed down the 
public mind, some students were attracted, and came to the 
laboratory to examine more closely those matters, which 
allowed of such precise diagnosis and such confident 
prognosis." 

What struggles, what efforts, were necessary before it 
could be instilled into every mind that a constant watch 
must be kept in the presence of those invisible foes, ready 
to invade the human body through the least scratch — that 
surgeons, dressers and nurses may become causes of infec- 
tion and propagators of death through forgetfulness ! and 
before the theory of germs and the all powerfulness of 
microbes could be put under a full light à propos of that 
discussion on puerperal fever ! 

But Pasteur was supported and inspired during that 
period, perhaps the most fruitful of his existence, by 
the prescience that those notions meant the salvation 
of human lives, and that mothers need no longer be 
torn by death from the cradle of their new-born in- 
fants. 

" I shall force them to see; they will have to see ! " he 
repeated with a holy wrath against doctors who continued 
to talk, from their study or at their clubs, with some 
scepticism, of those newly discovered little creatures, of 

90 



I877-I879 

those ultra-microscopic parasites, trying to moderate 
enthusiasm and even confidence. 

An experimental fact which occurred about that time 
was followed with interest, not only by the Académie des 
Sciences, but by the general public, whose attention was 
beginning to be awakened. A professor at the Nancy 
Faculty, M. Feltz, had announced to the Académie des 
Sciences in March, 1897, that, in the blood abstracted from 
a woman, who had died at the Nancy Hospital of puerperal 
fever, he had found motionless filaments, simple or articu- 
lated, transparent, straight or curved, which belonged, he 
said, to the genus leptothrix. Pasteur, who in his studies 
on puerperal fever had seen nothing of the kind, wrote 
to Dr. Feltz, asking him to send him a few drops of that 
infected blood. After receiving and examining the sample, 
Pasteur hastened to inform M. Feltz that that leptothrix 
was no other than the bacillus anthracis. M. Feltz, much 
surprised and perplexed, declared himself ready to own 
his error and to proclaim it if he were convinced by 
examining blood infected by charbon, and which, he said, 
he should collect wherever he could find it. Pasteur de- 
sired to save him that trouble, and offered to send him 
three little guinea-pigs alive, but inoculated, the one with 
the deceased woman's blood, the other with the bacteridia 
of charbon-infected blood from Chartres, the third with 
some charbon-infected blood from a Jura cow. 

The three rodents were inoculated on May 12, at three 
o'clock in the afternoon, and arrived, living, at Nancy, on 
the morning of the thirteenth. They died on the fourteenth, 
in the laboratory of M. Feltz, who was thus able to observe 
them with particular attention until their death. 

"After carefully examining the blood of the three 
animals after their death, I was unable," said M. Feltz, 
" to detect the least difference ; not only the blood, but 

91 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

the internal organs, and notably the spleen, were affected 
in the same manner." ... "It is a certaintj^ to my 
mind," he wrote to Pasteur, "that the contaminating 
agent has been the same in the three cases, and that it 
was the bacteridium of what you call anthrax." 

There was therefore no such thing as a leptothrix 
puerperalis. And it was at a distance, without having 
seen the patient, that Pasteur said: " That woman died of 
charbon." With an honourable straightforwardness, M. 
Feltz wrote to the Académie des Sciences relating the 
facts. 

"It is doubly regrettable," he concluded, "that I 
should not have known charbon already last year, for, on 
the one hand, I might have diagnosed the redoubtable 
complication presented by the case, and, on the other 
hand, sought for the mode of contamination, which at 
present escapes me almost completely." All he had been 
able to find was that the woman, a charwoman, lived in 
a little room near a stable belonging to a horse dealer. 
Many animals came there ; the stable might have contained 
diseased ones ; M. Feltz had been unable to ascertain the 
fact. " I must end," he added, " with thanks to M. Pasteur 
for the great kindness he has shown me during my inter- 
course with him. Thanks to him, I was able to con- 
vince myself of the identit}' between the bacillus 
anthracis and the bacteridium found in the blood of a 
woman who presented all the s^'mptoms of grave puerperal 
fever." 

At the time when that convincing episode was taking 
place, other experiments equalh^ precise were being under- 
taken concerning splenic fever. The question was to 
discover whether it would be possible to find germs of 
charbon in the earth of the fields which had been con- 
taminated purposely, fourteen months before, by pouring 

92 



I877-I879 

culture liquids over it. It seemed beyond all probability that 
those germs might be withdrawn and isolated from the 
innumerable other microbes contained in the soil. It was 
done, however; 500 grammes of earth were mixed with 
water, and infinitesimal particles of it isolated. The spore 
of the bacillus anthracis resists a temperature of 80° C. or 
90° C, which would kill any other microbe ; those particles 
of earth were accordingly raised to that degree of heat 
and then injected into some guinea-pigs, several of which 
died of splenic fever. It was therefore evident that flocks 
were exposed to infection merely by grazing over certain 
fields in that land of the Beauce. For it was sufficient 
that some infected blood should have remained on the 
ground, for germs of bacteridia to be found there, perhaps 
years later. How often was such blood spilt as a dead 
animal was being taken to the knacker's yard or buried 
on the spot! Millions of bacteridia, thus scattered on and 
below the surface of the soil, produced their spores, seeds 
of death ready to germinate. 

And yet negative facts were being opposed to these 
positive facts, and the theory of spontaneity invoked ! "It 
is with deep sorrow," said Pasteur at the Académie de 
Médecine on November 11, 1873, " that I so frequently find 
myself obliged to answer thoughtless contradiction ; it 
also grieves me much to see that the medical Press speaks 
of these discussions in apparent ignorance of the true 
principles of experimental method. . . . 

"That aimlessness of criticism seems explicable to me, 
however, by this circumstance — that Medicine and Sur- 
gery are, I think, going through a crisis, a transition. 
There are two opposite currents, that of the old and 
that of the new-born doctrine ; the first, still followed 
by innumerable partisans, rests on the belief in the 
spontaneity of transmissible diseases ; the second is the 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

theory of germs, of the living contagium with all its 
legitimate consequences. ..." 

The better to point out that difference between epochs, 
Pasteur respectfully advised M. Bouillaud, who was taking 
part in the discussion, to read over Littré's Medicine and 
Physicians, and to compare with present ideas the chapter 
on epidemics written in 1836, four years after the cholera 
which had spread terror over Paris and over France. 
" Poisons and venoms die out on the spot after working 
the evil which is special to them," wrote Littré, " and 
are not reproduced in the body of the victim, but virus 
and miasmata are reproduced and propagated. Nothing 
is more obscure to physiologists than those mysterious 
combinations of organic elements ; but there lies the dark 
room of sickness and of death which we must try to 
open." " Among epidemic diseases," said Littré in another 
passage equally noted by Pasteur, '' some occupy the 
world and decimate nearly all parts of it, others are limited 
to more or less wide areas. The origin of the latter 
may be sought either in local circumstances of dampness, 
of marshy ground, of decomposing animal or vegetable 
matter, or in the changes which take place in men's mode 
of life." 

" If I had to defend the novelty of the ideas introduced 
into medicine by my labours of the last twenty years," 
wrote Pasteur from Arbois in September, 1879, " I should 
invoke the significant spirit of Littré's words. Such was 
then the state of Science in 1836, and those ideas on the 
etiology of great epidemics were those of one of the most 
advanced and penetrating minds of the time. I would 
observe, contrarily to Littré's opinion, that nothing proves 
the spontaneity of great epidemics! As we have lately 
seen the phylloxera, imported from America, invade Europe, 
so it might be that the causes of great pests were originated, 

94 



I877-I879 

unknowingly to stricken countries, in other countries which 
had had fortuitous contact with the latter. Imagine a 
microscopic being, inhabiting some part of Africa and 
existing on plants, on animals, or even on men, and capable 
of communicating a disease to the white race ; if brought 
to Europe by some fortuitous circumstance, it may become 
the occasion of an epidemic. ..." 

And, writing later, about the same passage: "Nowa- 
days, if an article had to be written on the same subject, 
it would certainly be the idea of living ferments and 
microscopic beings and germs which would be mentioned 
and discussed as a cause. That is the great progress," 
added Pasteur with legitimate pride, " in which my labours 
have had so large a share. But it is characteristic of 
Science and Progress that they go on opening new fields 
to our vision ; the scientist, who is exploring the unknown, 
resembles the traveller who perceives further and higher 
summits as he reaches greater altitudes. In these days, 
more infectious diseases, more microscopic beings appear to 
the mind as things to be discovered, the discovery of which 
will render a wonderful account of pathological conditions 
and of their means of action and propagation, of self- 
multiplication within and destruction of the organism. 
The point of view is very different from Littré's ! ! " 

On his return to Paris, Pasteur, his mind overflowing 
with ideas, had felt himself impelled to speak again, to 
fight once more the fallacious theory of the spontaneity 
of transmissible diseases. He foresaw the triumph of the 
germ theory arising from the ruin of the old doctrines — at 
the price, it is true, of many efforts, many struggles, but 
those were of little consequence to him. 

The power of his mind, the radiating gifts that he 
possessed, were such that his own people were more and 
more interested in the laboratory, every one trying day by 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

day to penetrate further into Pasteur's thoughts. His 
family circle had widened ; his son and his daughter had 
married, and the two new-comers had soon been initiated 
into past results and recent experiments. He had, in his 
childhood and youth, been passionately loved by his 
parents and sisters, and now, in his middle age, his 
tenderness towards his wife and children was eagerly 
repaid by the love they bore him. He made happiness 
around him whilst he gave glory to France. 



96 



CHAPTER III 

I 8 8 o I 8 8 2 

ANEW microbe now became the object of the same 
studies of culture and inoculation as the bacillus 
anthracis. Readers of this book may have had occasion to 
witness the disasters caused in a farmyard by a strange 
and sudden epidemic. Hens, believed to be good sitters, 
are found dead on their nests. Others, surrounded by their 
brood, allow the chicks to leave them, giving them no 
attention ; they stand motionless in the centre of the yard, 
staggering under a deadly drowsiness. A young and 
superb cock, whose triumphant voice was j^esterday heard 
by all the neighbours, falls into a sudden agony, his beak 
closed, his eyes dim, his purple comb drooping limply. 
Other chickens, respited till the next day, come near the 
dying and the dead, picking here and there grains soiled 
with excreta containing the deadly germs: it is chicken 
cholera. 

An Alsatian veterinary surgeon of the name of Moritz 
had been the first to notice, in 1869, some " granulations " in 
the corpses of animals struck down by this lightning 
disease, which sometimes kills as many as ninety chickens 
out of a hundred, those who survive having probably 
recovered from a slight attack of the cholera. Nine years 
after Moritz, Perroncito, an Italian veterinary surgeon, 
made a sketch of the microbe, which has the appearance 
VOL. II. 97 H 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

of little specks. Toussaint studied it, and demonstrated 
that this microbe was indeed the cause of virulence in the 
blood. He sent to Pasteur the head of a cock that had died 
of cholera. The first thing to do, after isolating the microbe, 
was to try successive cultures; Toussaint had used neu- 
tralized urine. This, though perfect for the culture of the 
bacillus anthracis, proved a bad culture medium for the 
microbe of chicken cholera ; its multiplication soon became 
arrested. If sown in a small flask of yeast water, equally 
favourable to bacteridia, the result was worse still: the 
microbe disappeared in forty-eight hours. 

" Is not that," said Pasteur — with the gift of comparison 
which made him turn each failure into food for reflection — 
" an image of what we observe when a microscopic or- 
ganism proves to be harmless to a particular animal 
species ? It is harmless because it does not develop within 
the body, or because its development does not reach the 
organs essential to life." 

After trying other culture mediums, Pasteur found that 
the one which answered best was a broth of chicken gristle, 
neutralized with potash and sterilized by a temperature of 
110° C. to 115° C. 

" The facility of multiplication of the micro-organism in 
that culture medium is really prodigious," wrote Pasteur in 
a duplicate communication to the Academies of Sciences 
and of Medicine (February, 1880), entitled Of Virulent 
Diseases^ and in particular that commonly called Chicken 
Cholera. " In a few hours, the most limpid broth becomes 
turgid and is found to be full of little articles of an extreme 
tenuity, slightly strangled in their middle and looking at 
first sight like isolated specks ; they are incapable of loco- 
motion. Within a few days, those beings, already so small, 
change into a multitude of specks so much smaller, that the 
culture liquid, which had at first become turgid, almost 

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i88o-i882 

milky, becomes nearly clear again, the specks being of such 
narrow diameter as to be impossible to measure, even 
approximately. 

" This microbe certainly belongs to quite another group 
than that of the vibriones. I imagine that it will one day 
find a place with the still mysterious virus, when the latter 
are successfully cultivated, which will be soon, I hope." 

Pasteur stated that the virulence of this microbe was 
such that the smallest drop of recent culture, on a few 
crumbs, was sufficient to kill a chicken. Hens fed in this 
way contracted the disease by their intestinal canal, an 
excellent culture medium for the micro-organism, and 
perished rapidly. Their infected excreta became a cause 
of contagion to the hens which shared with them the 
laboratory cages. Pasteur thus described one of these sick 
hens — 

"The animal suffering from this disease is powerless, 
staggering, its wings droop and its bristling feathers give 
it the shape of a ball ; an irresistible somnolence over- 
powers it. If its eyes are made to open, it seems to awake 
from a deep sleep, and death frequently supervenes after a 
dumb agony, before the animal has stirred from its place; 
sometimes there is a faint fluttering of the wings for a few 
seconds." 

Pasteur tried the effect of this microbe on guinea-pigs 
which had been brought up in the laboratory, and found it 
but rarely mortal ; in general it merely caused a sore, 
terminating in an abscess, at the point of inoculation. If 
this abscess were opened, instead of being allowed to heal of 
its own accord, the little microbe of chicken cholera was to 
be found in the pus, preserved in the abscess as it might be 
in a phial. 

" Chickens or rabbits," remarked Pasteur, '* living in the 
society of guinea-pigs presenting these abscesses, might 

99 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

suddenly become ill and die without any alteration being 
seen in the guinea-pigs' health. It would suffice for this 
purpose that those abscesses should open and drop some of 
their contents on the food of the chickens and rabbits. 

" An observer witnessing those facts, and ignorant of the 
above-mentioned cause, would be astonished to see hens 
and rabbits decimated without apparent cause, and would 
believe in the spontaneity of the evil ; for he would be far 
from supposing that it had its origin in the guinea-pigs, all 
of them in good health. How many mysteries in the 
history of contagions will one day be solved as simply as 
this ! ! ! " 

A chance, such as happens to those who have the genius 
of observation, was now about to mark an immense step in 
advance and prepare the way for a great discovery. As 
long as the culture flasks of chicken-cholera microbe had 
been sown without interruption, at twenty-four hours' 
interval, the virulence had remained the same ; but when 
some hens were inoculated with an old culture, put away 
and forgotten a few weeks before, they were seen with sur- 
prise to become ill and then to recover. These unexpectedly 
refractory hens were then inoculated with some new 
culture, but the phenomenon of resistance recurred. What 
had happened? What could have attenuated the activity 
of the microbe? Researches proved that oxygen was the 
cause; and, by putting between the cultures variable 
intervals of days, of one, two or three months, variations of 
mortality were obtained, eight hens dying out of ten, then 
five, then only one out of ten, and c.t last, when, as in the 
first case, the culture had had time to get stale, no hens died 
at all, though the microbe could still be cultivated. 

"Finally," said Pasteur, eagerly explaining this 
phenomenon, " if you take each of these attenuated cultures 
as a starting-point for successive and uninterrupted cul- 

100 



i88o-i882 

tures, all this series of cultures will reproduce the attenuated 
virulence of that which served as the starting-point ; in the 
same way non- virulence will reproduce non- virulence." 

And, while hens who had never had chicken-cholera 
perished when exposed to the deadly virus, those who had 
undergone attenuated inoculations, and who afterwards 
received more than their share of the deadly virus, were 
affected with the disease in a benign form, a passing in- 
disposition, sometimes even they remained perfectly well ; 
they had acquired immunity. Was not this fact worthy of 
being placed by the side of that great fact of vaccine, over 
which Pasteur had so often pondered and meditated ? 

He now felt that he might entertain the hope of obtaining, 
through artificial culture, some vaccinating- virus against 
the virulent diseases which cause great losses to agriculture 
in the breeding of domestic animals, and, beyond that, the 
greater hope of preserving humanity from those contagious 
diseases which continually decimate it. This invincible 
hope led him to wish that he might live long enough to 
accomplish some new discoveries and to see his followers 
step into the road he had marked out. 

Strong in his experimental method which enabled him to 
produce proofs and thus to demonstrate the truth ; able to 
establish the connection between a virulent and a microbian 
disease ; finally, ready to reproduce by culture, in several 
degrees of attenuation, a veritable vaccine, could he not 
now force those of his opponents who were acting in good 
faith to acknowledge the evidence of facts ? Could he not 
carry all attentive minds with him into the great move- 
ment which was about to replace old ideas by new and 
precise notions, more and more accessible ? 

Pasteur enjoyed days of incomparable happiness during 
that period of enthusiasm, joys of the mind in its full power, 
joys of the heart in all its expansion ; for good was being 

lOI 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

done. He felt that nothing could arrest the course of his 
doctrine, of which he said — " The breath of Truth is carry- 
ing it towards the fruitful fields of the future." He had 
that intuition which makes a great poet of a great scientist. 
The innumerable ideas surging through his mind were like 
so many bees all trying to issue from the hive at the same 
time. So many plans and preconceived ideas only stimu- 
lated him to further researches ; but, when he was once 
started on a road, he distrusted each step and only pro- 
gressed in the train of precise, clear and irrefutable 
experiments. 

A paper of his on the plague, dated April, 1880, illustrates 
his train of thought. The preceding year the Academy of 
Medicine had appointed a commission composed of eight 
members, to draw up a programme of research relative to 
the plague. The scourge had appeared in a village situated 
on the right bank of the Volga, in the district of Astrakhan. 
There had been one isolated case at first, followed ten days 
later by another death ; the dread disease had then invaded 
and devoured the whole village, going from house to house 
like an inextinguishable fire ; 370 deaths had occurred in a 
population of 1,372 inhabitants; thirty or forty people died 
every day. In one of those sinister moments when men 
forget everything in their desire to live, parents and rela- 
tions had abandoned their sick and dying among the un- 
buried dead, with 20° C. of frost ! ! The neighbouring 
villages were contaminated ; but, thanks to the Russian 
authorities, who had established a strict sanitary cordon, 
the evil was successfully localized. Some doctors, meeting 
in Vienna, declared that that plague was no other than the 
Black Death of the fourteenth century, which had depopu- 
lated Europe. The old pictures and sculptures of the time, 
which represent Death pressing into his lugubrious gang 
children and old men, beggars and emperors, bear witness 

102 



i88o-i882 

to the formidable ravages of such a scourge. In France, 
since the epidemic at Marseilles in 1720, it seemed as if the 
plague were but a memory, a distant nightmare, almost a 
horrible fairy tale. Dr. Rochard, in a report to the 
Académie de Médecine, recalled how the contagion had 
burst out in May, 1720 ; a ship, having lost six men from 
the plague on its journey, had entered Marseilles harbour. 
The plague, after an insidious first phase, had raged in all 
its fury in July. 

"Since the plague is a disease," wrote Pasteur (whose 
paper was a sort of programme of studies), " the cause of 
which is absolutely unknown, it is not illogical to suppose 
that it too is perhaps produced by a special microbe. All 
experimental research must be guided by some preconceived 
ideas, and it would probably be very useful to tackle the 
study of that disease with the belief that it is due to a 
parasite. 

" The most decisive of all the proofs which can be 
invoked in favour of the possible correlation between a 
determined affection and the presence of a micro-organism, 
is that afforded by the method of cultures of organisms in 
a state of purity ; a method by which I have solved, within 
the last twenty-two years, the chief difficulties relative to 
fermentations properly so-called ; notably the important 
question, much debated formerly, of the correlation which 
exists between those fermentations and their particular 
ferments." 

He then pointed out that if, after gathering either blood 
or pus immediately before or immediately after the death 
of a plague patient, one could succeed in discovering the 
micro-organism, and then in finding for that microbe an 
appropriate culture medium, it would be advisable to inocu- 
late with it animals of various kinds, perhaps monkeys 
for preference, and to look for the lesions capable of 

103 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

establishing relations from cause to effect between that 
organism and the disease in mankind. 

He did not hide from himself the great difficulties to be 
met with in experimenting; for, after discovering and isola- 
ting the organism, there is nothing to indicate a priori 
to the experimentalist an appropriate culture medium. 
Liquids which suit some microbes admirably are absolutely- 
unsuitable to others. Take, for instance, the microbe of 
chicken-cholera, which will not develop in beer yeast ; a 
hasty experimentalist might conclude that the chicken- 
cholera is not produced by a micro-organism, and that it 
is a spontaneous disease with unknown immediate causes. 
" The fallacy would be a fatal one," said Pasteur, "for in 
another medium, say, for instance, in chicken-broth, there 
would be a virulent culture." 

In these researches on the plague, then, various mediums 
should be tried; also the character, either aerobic or an- 
aerobic, of the microbe should be present to the mind. 

"The sterility of a culture liquid may come from the 
presence of air and not from its own constitution ; the 
septic vibrio, for instance, is killed by oxygen in air. From 
this last circumstance it is plain that culture must be made 
not only in the presence of air but also in a vacuum or 
in the presence of pure carbonic acid gas. In the latter 
case, immediately after sowing the blood or humor to be 
tested, a vacuum must be made in the tubes, they must be 
sealed by means of a lamp, and left in a suitable tempera- 
ture, usually between 30 C. and 40 C." Thus he prepared 
landmarks for the guidance of scientific research on the 
etiology of the plague. 

Desiring as Pasteur did that the public in general should 
take an interest in laboratory research, he sent to his friend 
Nisard the number of the Bulletin of the Académie de 

104 



i88o-i882 

Médecine which contained a first communication on chicken- 
cholera, and also his paper on the plague. 

" Read them if you have time," he wrote (May 3, 1880) : 
" they may interest you, and there should be no blanks in 
your education. They will be followed by others. 

" To-day, at the Institute, and to-morrow at the Académie 
de Médecine, I shall give a new lecture. 

" Do repeat to me every criticism you hear ; I much 
prefer them to praise, barren unless encouragement is 
wanted, which is certainly not my case ; I have a lasting 
provision of faith and fire." 

Nisard answered on May 7 : " My very dear friend, I 
am almost dazed with the effort made by my ignorance to 
follow your ideas, and dazzled with the beauty of your 
discoveries on the principal point, and the number of secon- 
dary discoveries enumerated in your marvellous paper. 
You are right not to care for barren praise ; but you would 
wrong those who love you if you found no pleasure in 
being praised by them when they have no other means of 
acknowledging your notes. 

''I am reading the notice on chicken-cholera for the 
second time, and I observe that the writer is following the 
discoverer, and that your language becomes elevated, 
supple and coloured, in order to express the various aspects 
of the subject. 

" It gives me pleasure to see the daily growth of your 
fame, and I am indeed proud of enjoying your friendship." 

Amidst his researches on a vaccine for chicken-cholera, 
the etiology of splenic fever was unceasingly preoccupying 
Pasteur. Did the splenic germs return to the surface of 
the soil, and how? One day, in one of his habitual excur- 
sions with Messrs. Roux and Chamberland to the farm 
of St. Germain, near Chartres, he suddenly perceived an 
answer to that enigma. In a field recently harvested, he 

105 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

noticed a place where the colour of the soil differed a little 
from the neighbouring earth. He questioned M. Maunoury, 
the proprietor of the farm, who answered that sheep dead 
of anthrax had been buried there the preceding year. 
Pasteur drew nearer, and was interested by the mass of 
little earth cylinders, those little twists which earth worms 
deposit on the ground. Might that be, he wondered, the 
explanation of the origin of the germs which reappear on 
the surface ? Might not the worms, returning from their 
subterranean journeys in the immediate neighbourhood of 
graves, bring back with them splenic spores, and thus 
scatter the germs so exhumed? That would again be a 
singular revelation, unexpected but quite simple, due to 
the germ theory. He wasted no time in dreaming of the 
possibilities opened by that preconceived idea, but, with his 
usual impatience to get at the truth, decided to proceed to 
experiment. 

On his return to Paris Pasteur spoke to Bouley of this 
possible part of germ carriers played by earthworms, and 
Bouley caused some to be gathered which had appeared on 
the surface of pits where animals dead of splenic fever had 
been buried some years before. Villemin and Davaine 
were invited as well as Bouley to come to the laboratory 
and see the bodies of these worms opened; anthrax 
spores were found in the earth cylinders which filled their 
intestinal tube. 

At the time when Pasteur revealed this pathogenic 
action of the earthworm, Darwin, in his last book, was 
expounding their share in agriculture. He too, with his 
deep attention and force of method, able to discover the 
hidden importance of what seemed of little account to 
second-rate minds, had seen how earthworms open their 
tunnels, and how, by turning over the soil, and by bringing 

1 06 



i88o-i882 

so many particles up to the surface by their " castings," 
they ventilate and drain the soil, and, by their incessant 
and continuous work, render orreat services to agriculture. 
These excellent labourers are redoubtable grave-diggers ; 
each of those two tasks, the one beneficent and the other 
full of perils, was brought to light by Pasteur and Darwin, 
unknowingly to each other. 

Pasteur had gathered earth from the pits where splenic 
cows had been buried in July, 1878, in the Jura. " At 
three different times within those two years," he said to 
the Académie des Sciences and to the Académie de Méde- 
cine in July, 1880, " the surface soil of those same pits has 
presented charbon spores." This fact had been confirmed 
by recent experiments on the soil of the Beauce farm ; 
particles of earth from other parts of the field had no power 
of provoking splenic fever. 

Pasteur, going on to practical advice, showed how grazing 
animals might find in certain places the germs of charbon, 
freed by the loosening by rain of the little castings of earth- 
worms. Animals are wont to choose the surface of the 
pits, where the soil, being richer in humus, produces thicker 
growth, and in so doing risk their lives, for they become 
infected somewhat in the same manner as in the experi- 
ments when their forage was poisoned with a few drops of 
splenic culture liquid. Septic germs are brought to the 
surface of the soil in the same way. 

"Animals," said Pasteur, "should never be buried in 
fields intended for pasture or the growing of hay. When- 
ever it is possible, burying-grounds should be chosen in 
sandy or chalky soils, poor, dry, and unsuitable to the life 
of earthworms." 

Pasteur, like a general with only two aides de camp, was 
obliged to direct the efforts of Messrs. Chamberland and 
Roux simultaneously in different parts of France. Some- 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

times facts had to be checked which had been over-hastily 
announced by rash experimentalists. Thus M. Roux went, 
towards the end of the month of July, to an isolated 
property near Nancy, called Bois le Duc Farm, to ascertain 
whether the successive deaths of nineteen head of cattle 
were really, as affirmed, due to splenic fever. The water 
of this pasture was alleged to be contaminated; the absolute 
isolation of the, herd seemed to exclude all idea of con- 
tagion. After collecting water and earth from various 
points on the estate M. Roux had returned to the labora- 
tory with his tubes and pipets. He was much inclined 
to believe that there had been septicaemia and not splenic 
fever. 

M. Chamberland was at Savagna, near Lons-le-Saulnier, 
where, in order to experiment on the contamination of the 
surface of pits, he had had a little enclosure traced out and 
surrounded by an open paling in a meadow where victims 
of splenic fever had been buried two years previously. Four 
sheep were folded in this enclosure. Another similar fold, 
also enclosing four sheep, was placed a few yards above the 
first one. This experiment was intended to occupy the 
vacation, and Pasteur meant to watch it from Arbois. 

A great sorrow awaited him there. " I have just had 
the misfortune of losing my sister," he wrote to Nisard at 
the beginning of August, " to see whom (as also my 
parents' and children's graves) I returned yearly to 
Arbois. Within forty-eight hours I witnessed life, sickness, 
death and burial ; such rapidity is terrifying. I deeply 
loved my sister, who, in difficult times, when modest ease 
even did not reign in our home, carried the heavy burden 
of the day and devoted herself to the little ones of whom I 
was one. I am now the only survivor of my paternal and 
maternal families." 



1 08 



i88o-i882 

In the first days of August, Toussaint, the young pro- 
fessor of the Toulouse Veterinary School, declared that he 
had succeeded in vaccinating sheep against splenic fever. 
One process of vaccination (which consisted in collecting 
the blood of an animal affected with charbon just before or 
immediately after death, defibrinating it and then passing 
it through a piece of linen and filtering it through ten or 
twelve sheets of paper) had been unsuccessful ; the 
bacteridia came through it all and killed instead of pre- 
serving the animal. Toussaint then had recourse to heat 
to kill the bacteridia : "I raised," he said, " the defi- 
brinated blood to a heat of 55° C. for ten minutes ; the 
result was complete. Five sheep inoculated with three 
cubic cent, of that blood, and afterwards with very active 
charbon blood, have not felt it in the least." However, 
several successive inoculations had to be made. 

" All ideas of hoHdays must be postponed ; we must set 
to work in Jura as well as in Paris," wrote Pasteur to his 
assistants. Bouley, who thought that the goal was reached, 
did not hide from himself the difficulties of interpretation 
of the alleged fact. He obtained from the Minister of 
Agriculture permission to try at Alfort this so-called 
vaccinal liquid on twenty sheep. 

" Yesterday," wrote Pasteur to his son-in-law on August 
13, " I went to give M. Chamberland instructions so 
that I may verify as soon as possible the Toussaint fact, 
which I will only believe when I have seen it, seen it with 
my own eyes. I am having twenty sheep bought, and I 
hope to be satisfied as to the exactitude of this really extra- 
ordinary observation in about three weeks' time. Nature 
may have mystified M. Toussaint, though his assertions 
seem to attest the existence of a very interesting fact." 

Toussaint's assertion had been hasty, and Pasteur was 
not long in clearing up that point. The temperature of 55° C. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

prolonged for ten minutes was not sufficient to kill the 
bacteridia in the blood ; they were but weakened and retarded 
in their development ; even after fifteen minutes' exposuie 
to the heat, there was but a numbness of the bacteridium. 
Whilst these experiments were being pursued in the Jura 
and in the laboratory of the Ecole Normale, the Alfort 
sheep were giving Bouley great anxiety, One died of 
charbon one day after inoculation, three two days later. 
The others were so ill that M. Nocard wanted to sacrifice one 
in order to proceed to immediate necropsy; Bouley ap- 
prehended a complete disaster. But the sixteen remaining 
sheep recovered gradually and became ready for the 
counter test of charbon inoculation. 

Whilst Pasteur was noting the decisive points, he heard 
from Bouley and from Roux at the same time, that 
Toussaint now obtained his vaccinal liquid, no longer by 
the action of heat, but by the measured action of carbolic 
acid on splenic fever blood. The interpretation by weaken- 
ing remained the same. 

"What ought we to conclude from that result?" wrote 
Bouley to Pasteur. " It is evident that Toussaint does not 
vaccinate as he thought, with a liquid destitute of 
bacteridia, since he gives charbon with that liquid ; but that 
he uses a liquid in which the power of the bacteridium is 
reduced by the diminished number and the attenuated 
activity. His vaccine must then only be charbon liquid of 
which the intensity of action may be weakened to the 
point of not being mortal to a certain number of susceptible 
animals receiving it. But it may be a most treacherous 
vaccine, in that it might be capable of recuperating its 
power -svith time. The Alfort experiment makes it probable 
that the vaccine tested at Toulouse and found to be harm- 
less, had acquired in the lapse of twelve days before it was 
tried at Alfort, a greater intensity, because the bacteridium, 

no 



i88o-i882 

numbed for a time by carbolic acid, had had time to awaken 
and to swarm, in spite of the acid." 

Whilst Toussaint had gone to Rheims (where sat the 
French Association for the Advancement of Science) to 
state that it was not, as he had announced, the liquid which 
placed the animal into conditions of relative immunity 
and to epitomize Bouley's interpretation, to wit, that it 
was a bearable charbon which he had inoculated, Pasteur 
wrote rather a severe note on the subject. His insisting 
on scrupulous accuracy in experiment sometimes made him 
a little hard ; though the process was unreliable and the 
explanation inexact, Toussaint at least had the merit of 
having noted a condition of transitory attenuation in the 
bacteridium. Bouley begged Pasteur to postpone his com- 
munication out of consideration for Toussaint. 

One of the sheep folded over splenic-fever pits had died 
on August 25, its body, full of bacteridia, proving once 
more the error of those who believed in the spontaneity of 
transmissible diseases. Pasteur informed J. B. Dumas of 
this, and at the same time expressed his opinion on the 
Toussaint fact. This letter was read at the Académie des 
Sciences. 

"Allow me, before I finish, to tell you another secret. I 
have hastened, again with the assistance of Messrs. 
Chamberland and Roux, to verify the extraordinary facts 
recently announced to the Academy by M. Toussaint, 
professor at the Toulouse Veterinary School. 

" After numerous experiments leaving no room for doubt, 
I can assure you that M. Toussaint's interpretations should 
be gone over again. Neither do I agree with M. Toussaint 
on the identity which he affirms as existing between acute 
septicaemia and chicken-cholera ; those two diseases differ 
absolutely." 

Bouley was touched by this temperate language after all 

III 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

the verifying experiments made at the Ecole Normale and 
in the Jura. When relating the Alfort incidents, and 
while expressing a hope that some vaccination against 
anthrax would shortly be discovered, he revealed that 
Pasteur had had " the delicacy of abstaining from a detailed 
criticism, so as to leave to M. Toussaint the care of check- 
ing his own results." 

The struggle against virulent diseases was becoming 
more and more the capital question for Pasteur. He 
constantly recurred to the subject, not only in the 
laboratory, but in his home conversations, for he associated 
his family with all the preoccupations of his scientific life. 
Now that the oxygen of air appeared as a modifying 
influence on the development of a microbe in the body of 
animals, it seemed possible that there might be a general 
law applicable to every virus ! What a benefit it would be 
if the vaccine of every virulent disease could thus be 
discovered ! And in his thirst for research, considering 
that the scientific history of chicken-cholera was more 
advanced than that of variolic and vaccinal affections — 
the great fact of vaccination remaining isolated and un- 
explained — he hastened on his return to Paris (September, 
1880) to press physicians on this special point — the relations 
between small-pox and vaccine. "From the point of view 
of physiological experimentation," he said, " the identity of 
the variola virus with the vaccine virus has never been 
demonstrated." When Jules Guérin — a born fighter, still 
desirous at the age of eighty to measure himself success- 
fully with Pasteur — declared that " human vaccine is the 
product of animal variola (cow pox and horse pox) inocu- 
lated into man and humanised by its successive trans- 
missions on man," Pasteur answered ironically that he 
might as well say, " Vaccine is — vaccine." 

Those who were accustomed to speak to Pasteur with 

112 



i88o-i882 

absolute sincerity advised him not to let himself be 
dragged further into those discussions when his adversaries, 
taking words for ideas, drowned the debate in a flood of 
phrases. Of what good were such debates to science, since 
those who took the first place among veterinary surgeons, 
physicians and surgeons, loudly acknowledged the debt 
which science owed to Pasteur? Why be surprised that 
certain minds, deeply disturbed in their habits, their prin- 
ciples, their influence, should feel some difficulty, some 
anger even in abandoning their ideas ? If it is painful to 
tenants to leave a house in which they have spent their 
youth, what must it be to break with one's whole educa- 
tion? 

Pasteur, who allowed himself thus to be told that he 
lacked philosophical serenity, acknowledged this good 
advice with an affectionate smile. He promised to be calm ; 
but when once in the room, his adversaries' attacks, their 
prejudices and insinuations, enervated and irritated him. 
All his promises were forgotten. 

" To pretend to express the relation between human 
variola and vaccine by speaking but of vaccine and its 
relations with cow pox and horse pox, without even pro- 
nouncing the word small-pox, is mere equivocation, done 
on purpose to avoid the real point of the debate." Be- 
coming excited by Guérin's antagonism, Pasteur turned 
some of Guérin's operating processes into ridicule with such 
effect that Guérin started from his place and rushed at him. 
The fiery octogenarian was stopped by Baron Larrey ; the 
sitting was suspended in confusion. The following day, 
Guérin sent two seconds to ask for reparation by arms 
from Pasteur. Pasteur referred them to M. Béclard, 
Permanent Secretary of the Académie de Médecine, and 
M. Bergeron, its Annual Secretary, who were jointly 
responsible for the Official Bulletin of the Academy. "I am 

VOL. 11. 113 I 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

ready," said Pasteur, *' having no right to act otherwise, to 
modify whatever the editors may consider as going beyond 
the rights of criticism and legitimate defence." 

In deference to the opinion of Messrs. Béclard and 
Bergeron, Pasteur consented to terminate the quarrel by 
writing to the chairman of the Academy that he had no 
intention of offending a colleague, and that in all discus- 
sions of that kind, he never thought of anything but to 
defend the exactitude of his own work. 

The Journal de la Médecine et de la Chimie^ edited by 
M. Lucas-Championnière, said à propos of this very reason- 
able letter — " We, for our part, admire the meekness of M. 
Pasteur, who is so often described as combative and ever 
on the war-path. Here we have a scientist, who now and 
then makes short, substantial and extremely interesting 
communications. He is not a medical man, and yet, guided 
by his genius, he opens new paths across the most arduous 
studies of medical science. Instead of being offered the tribute 
of attention and admiration which he deserves, he meets with 
a raging opposition from some quarrelsome individuals, ever 
inclined to contradict after listening as little as possible. 
If he makes use of a scientific expression not understood 
by everybody, or if he uses a medical expression slightly 
incorrectly, then rises before him the spectre of endless 
speeches, intended to prove to him that all was for the best 
in medical science before it was assisted by the precise 
studies and resources of chemistry and experimentation. 
. . . Indeed, M. Pasteur's expression of equivocation seemed 
to us moderate! " 

How many such futile incidents, such vain quarrels, 
traverse the life of a great man ! Later on, we only see 
glory, apotheosis, and the statues in public places ; the 
demi-gods seemed to have marched in triumph towards a 
grateful posterity. But how many obstacles and opposi- 

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i88o-i882 

tions are there to retard the progress of a free mind 
desirous of bringing his task to a successful conclusion and 
incited by the fruitful thought of Death, ever present to 
spirits preoccupied with interests of a superior order? 
Pasteur looked upon himself as merely a passing guest of 
those homes of intellect which he wished to enlarge and 
fortify for those who would come after him. 

Confronted with the hostility, indifference and scepticism 
which he found in the members of the Medical Academy, 
he once appealed to the students who sat on the seats open 
to the public. 

" Young men, you who sit on those benches, and who are 
perhaps the hope of the medical future of the country, do 
not come here to seek the excitement of polemics, but come 
and learn Method." 

His method, as opposed to vague conceptions and a priori 
speculations, went on fortifying itself day by day. Artifi- 
cial attenuation, that is, virus modified by the oxygen of 
air, which weakens and abates virulence ; vaccination by 
the attenuated virus — those two immense steps in advance 
were announced by Pasteur at the end of 1880. But would 
the same process apply to the microbe of charbon ? That 
was a great problem. The vaccine of chicken-cholera was 
easy to obtain ; by leaving pure cultures to themselves for 
a time in contact with air, they soon lost their virulence. 
But the spores of charbon, very indifferent to atmospheric 
air, preserved an indefinitely prolonged virulence. After 
eight, ten or twelve years, spores found in the graves 
of victims of splenic fever were still in full virulent 
activity. It was therefore necessary to turn the difficulty 
by a culture process which would act on the filament- 
shaped bacteridium before the formation of spores. What 
may now be explained in a few words demanded long 
weeks of trials, tests and counter tests. 

115 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

In neutralized chicken broth, the bacteridium can no 
longer be cultivated at a temperature of 45° C. ; it can still 
be cultivated easily at a temperature of 42° C. or 43° C, but 
the spores do not develop. 

"At that extreme temperature," explains M. Chamber- 
land, " the bacteridia yet live and reproduce themselves, 
but they never give any germs. Thenceforth, when trying 
the virulence of the phials after six, eight, ten or fifteen 
days, we have found exactly the same phenomena as for 
chicken-cholera. After eight days, for instance, our 
culture, which originally killed ten sheep out of ten, only 
kills four or five ; after ten or tw^elve days it does not kill 
any; it merely communicates to animals a benignant 
malady which preserves them from the deadly form. 

"A remarkable thing is that the bacteridia whose 
virulence has been attenuated may afterwards be culti- 
vated in a temperature of 30° C. to 35° C, at which temper- 
ature they give germs presenting the same virulence as the 
filaments which formed them." 

Bouley, who was a witness of all these facts, said, in 
other words, that " if that attenuated and degenerated 
bacteridium is translated to a culture medium in a lower 
temperature, favourable to its activit}'-, it becomes once 
again apt to produce spores. But those spores born of 
weakened bacteridia, will only produce bacteridia likewise 
weakened in their swarming faculties." 

Thus is obtained and enclosed in inalterable spores a 
vaccine ready to be sent to every part of the world to 
preserve animals by vaccination against splenic fever. 

On the day when he became sure of this discovery, 
Pasteur, returning to his rooms from his laboratory, said to 
his famil}^, with a deep emotion — "Nothing would have 
consoled me if this discovery, which my collaborators and 
I have made, had not been a French discovery." 

116 



i88o-i882 

He desired to wait a little longer before proclaiming it. 
Yet the cause of the evil was revealed, the mode of propa- 
gation indicated, prophylaxis made easy ; surely, enough 
had been achieved to move attentive minds to enthusiasm 
and to deserve the gratitude of sheep owners ! 

So thought the Society of French Agricultors, when it 
decided, on February 21, 188 1, to offer to Pasteur a medal 
of honour. J. B. Dumas, detained at the Académie des 
Sciences, was unable to attend the meeting. He wrote to 
Bouley, who had been requested to enumerate Pasteur's 
principal discoveries at that large meeting — " I had desired 
to make public by my presence my heartfelt concurrence in 
your admiration for him who will never be honoured to the 
full measure of his merits, of his services and of his passion- 
ate devotion to truth and to our country." 

On the following Monday, Bouley said to Dumas, as they 
were walking to the Académie des Sciences, " Your letter 
assures me of a small share of immortality." 

" See," answered Dumas, pointing to Pasteur, who was 
preceding them, " there is he who will lead us both to 
immortality." 

On that Monday, February 28, Pasteur made his cele- 
brated communication on the vaccine of splenic fever and 
the whole graduated scale of virulence. The secret of 
those returns to virulence lay entirely in some successive 
cultures through the body of certain animals. If a 
weakened bacteridium was inoculated into a guinea-pig 
a few days old it was harmless ; but it killed a new-born 
guinea-pig. 

"If we then go from one new-born guinea-pig to 
another," said Pasteur, " by inoculation of the blood of the 
first to the second, from the second to a third, and so on, 
the virulence of the bacteridium — that is : its adaptability 
to development within the economy — becomes gradually 

117 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

strengthened. It becomes by degrees able to kill guinea- 
pigs three or four days old, then a week, a month, some 
years old, then sheep themselves; the bacteridium has 
returned to its original virulence. We may affirm, without 
hesitation, though we have not had the opportunity of 
testing the fact, that it would be capable of killing cows 
and horses; and it preserves that virulence indefinitely if 
nothing is done to attenuate it again. 

"As to the microbe of chicken-cholera, when it has lost 
its power of action on hens, its virulence may be restored 
to it by applying it to small birds such as sparrows or 
canaries, which it kills immediately. Then by successive 
passages through the bodies of those animals, it gradually 
assumes again a virulence capable of manifesting itselt 
anew on adult hens. 

" Need I add, that, during that return to virulence, by the 
way, virus- vaccines can be prepared at every degree of 
virulence for the bacillus anthracis and for the chicken- 
cholera microbe. 

" This question of the return to virulence is of the greatest 
interest for the etiology of contagious diseases." 

Since charbon does not recur, said Pasteur in the course 
of that communication, each of the charbon microbes 
attenuated in the laboratory constitutes a vaccine for the 
superior microbe. " What therefore is easier than to find 
in those successive virus, virus capable of giving splenic 
fever to sheep, cows and horses, without making them 
perish, and assuring them of ulterior immunity from the 
deadly disease? We have practised that operation on 
sheep with the greatest success. When the season comes 
for sheep-folding in the Beauce, we will try to apply it on 
a large scale." 

The means of doing this were given to Pasteur before 
long ; assistance was offered to him by various people for 

ii8 



i88o-i882 

various reasons ; some desired to see a brilliant demonstra- 
tion of the truth ; others whispered their hopes of a signal 
failure. The promoter of one very large experiment was a 
Melun veterinary surgeon, M. Rossignol. 

In the Veterinary Press, of which M. Rossignol was one of 
the editors, an article by him might have been read on the 
31st January, 1881, less than a month before that great 
discovery on charbon vaccine, wherein he expressed himself 
as follows: "Will you have some microbe? There is 
some everywhere. Microbiolatry is the fashion, it reigns 
undisputed; it is a doctrine which must not even be 
discussed, especially when its Pontiff, the learned M. 
Pasteur, has pronounced the sacramental words, / have 
spoken. The microbe alone is and shall be the character- 
istic of a disease ; that is understood and settled ; henceforth 
the germ theory must have precedence of pure clinics; 
the Microbe alone is true, and Pasteur is its prophet." 

At the end of March, M. Rossignol began a campaign, 
begging for subscriptions, pointing out how much the 
cultivators of the Brie — whose cattle suffered almost as 
much as that of the Beauce — were interested in the 
question. The discovery, if it were genuine, should not 
remain confined to the Ecole Normale laboratory, or 
monopolized by the privileged public of the Académie des 
Sciences, who had no use for it. M. Rossignol soon 
collected about 100 subscribers. Did he believe that 
Pasteur and his little phials would come to a hopeless 
fiasco in a farmyard before a public of old practitioners who 
had always been powerless in the presence of splenic fever ? 
Microbes were a subject for ceaseless joking ; people had 
hilarious visions of the veterinary profession confined some 
twenty years hence in a model laboratory assiduously 
cultivating numberless races, sub-races, varieties and sub- 
varieties of microbes. 

119 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

It is probable that, if light comes from above, a good 
many practitioners would not have been sorry to see a 
strong wind from below putting out Pasteur's light. 

M. Rossignol succeeded in interesting every one in this 
undertaking. When the project was placed before the 
Melun Agricultural Society on the 2nd April, they hastened 
to approve of it and to accord their patronage. 

The chairman, Baron de la Rochette, was requested to 
approach Pasteur and to invite him to organize public 
experiments on the preventive vaccination of charbon in 
the districts of Melun, Fontainebleau and Provins. 

"The noise which those experiments will necessarily 
cause," wrote M. Rossignol, " will strike every mind and 
convince those who may still be doubting ; the evidence of 
facts will have the result of ending all uncertainty." 

Baron de la Rochette was a typical old French gentle- 
man ; his whole person was an ideal of old-time distinction 
and courtesy. Well up to date in all agricultural progress, 
and justly priding himself, with the ease of a great land- 
owner, that he made of agriculture an art and a science, 
he could speak in any surroundings with knowledge of his 
subject and a winning grace of manner. When he entered 
the laboratory, he was at once charmed by the simplicity 
of the scientist, who hastened to accept the proposal of an 
extensive experiment. 

At the end of April, Pasteur wrote out the programme 
which was to be followed near Melun at the farm of 
Pouilly le Fort. M. Rossignol had a number of copies of 
that programme printed, and distributed them, not only 
throughout the Department of Seine et Marne, but in the 
whole agricultural world. This programme was so 
decidedly affirmative that some one said to Pasteur, with 
a little anxiety : " You remember what Marshal Gouvion 
St. Cyr said of Napoleon, that ' he liked hazardous games 

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i88o-i882 

with a character of grandeur and audacity.' It was neck 
or nothing with him ; you are going on in the same way ! " 

" Yes," answered Pasteur, who meant to compel a 
victory. 

And as his collaborators, to whom he had just read the 
precise and strict arrangements he had made, themselves 
felt a little nervous, he said to them, " What has succeeded 
in the laboratory on fourteen sheep will succeed just as 
well at Melun on fifty." 

This programme left him no retreat. The Melun 
Agricultural Society put sixty sheep at Pasteur's disposal ; 
twenty-five were to be vaccinated by two inoculations, at 
twelve or fifteen days' interval, with some attenuated 
charbon virus. Some days later those twenty-five and also 
twenty-five others would be inoculated with some very 
virulent charbon culture. 

"The twenty-five unvaccinated sheep will all perish," 
wrote Pasteur, "the twenty-five vaccinated ones will 
survive." They would afterwards be compared with the 
ten sheep which had undergone no treatment at all. It 
would thus be seen that vaccination did not prevent sheep 
from returning to their normal state of health after a 
certain time. 

Then came other prescriptions, for instance, the burying 
of the dead sheep in distinct graves, near each other and 
enclosed within a paling. 

" In May, 1882," added Pasteur, " twenty new sheep, that 
is, sheep never before used for experimentation, will be shut 
within that paling." 

And he predicted that the following year, 1882, out of 
those twenty-five sheep fed on the grass of that little 
enclosure or on forage deposited there, several would 
become infected by the charbon germs brought to the 
surface by earthworms, and that they would die of splenic 

121 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

fever. Finally, twenty-five other sheep might be folded in 
a neighbouring spot, where no charbon victims had ever 
been buried, and under these conditions none would 
contract the disease. 

M. de la Rochette having expressed a desire that cows 
should be included in the programme, Pasteur answered 
that he was willing to try that new experiment, though 
his tests on vaccine for cows were not as advanced as those 
on sheep vaccine. Perhaps, he said, the results may not be 
as positive, though he thought they probably would be. 
He was offered ten cows ; six were to be vaccinated and 
four not vaccinated. The experiments were to begin on 
the Thursday, 5th May, and would in all likelihood 
terminate about the first fortnight in June. 

At the time when M. Rossignol declared that all was 
ready for the fixed time, an editor's notice in the Veterinary 
Press said that the laboratory experiments were about to 
be repeated in campo, and that Pasteur could thus 
" demonstrate that he had not been mistaken when he 
affirmed before the astonished Academy that he had 
discovered the vaccine of splenic fever, a preventative to 
one of the most terrible diseases with which animals and 
even men could be attacked." This notice ended thus, 
with an unexpected classical reminiscence : " These 
experiments are solemn ones, and they will become 
memorable if, as M. Pasteur asserts, with such con- 
fidence, they confirm all those he has already instituted. 
We ardently wish that M. Pasteur may succeed and 
remain the victor in a tournament which has now lasted 
long enough. If he succeeds, he will have endowed his 
country with a great benefit, and his adversaries should, as 
in the days of antiquity, wreathe their brows with laurel 
leaves and prepare to follow, chained and prostrate, the 
chariot of the immortal Victor. But he must succeed : such 

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i88o-i882 

is the price of triumph. Let M. Pasteur not forget that the 
Tarpeian Rock is near the Capitol." 

On May 5 a numerous crowd arriving from Melun 
station or from the little station of Cesson, was seen 
moving towards the yard of Pouilly le Fort farm; it 
looked like a mobilisation of Conseillers Généraux, agricul- 
tors, physicians, apothecaries, and especially veterinary 
surgeons. Most of these last were full of scepticism — as 
was remarked by M. Thierry, who represented the Veteri- 
nary Society of the Yonne, and one of his colleagues, 
M. Biot, of Pont-sur- Yonne. They were exchanging jokes 
and looks to the complete satisfaction of Pasteur's 
adversaries. They were looking forward to the last and 
most virulent inoculation. 

Pasteur, assisted not only by Messrs. Chamberland and 
Roux, but also by a third pupil of the name of Thuillier, 
proceeded to the arrangement of the subjects. At the 
last moment, two goats were substituted for two of the 
sheep. 

Vaccination candidates and unvaccinated test sheep 
were divided under a large shed. For the injection of the 
vaccinal liquid, Pravaz's little syringe was used ; those 
who have experienced morphia injections know how easily 
the needle penetrates the subcutaneous tissues. Each of 
the twenty-five sheep received, on the inner surface of the 
right thigh, five drops of the bacterid ian culture which 
Pasteur called the first vaccine. Five cows and one ox 
substituted for" the sixth cow were vaccinated in their 
turn, behind the shoulder. The ox and the cows were 
marked on the right horn, and the sheep on the ear. 

Pasteur was, after this, asked to give a lecture on splenic 
fever in the large hall of the Pouilly farm. Then, in clear, 
simple language, meeting every objection half-way, showing 
no astonishment at ignorance or prejudice, knowing 

123 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

perfectly well that many were really hoping for a failure, 
he methodically described the road already travelled and 
pointed to the goal he would reach. For nearly an hour 
he interested and instructed his mixed audience ; he made 
them feel the genuineness of his faith, and, besides his 
interest in the scientific problem, his desire to spare heavy 
losses to cultivators. After the lecture, some, better 
informed than others, were admiring the logical harmony 
of that career, mingling with pure science results of 
incalculable benefit to the public, an extraordinary alliance 
which gave a special moral physiognomy to this man of 
prodigious labours. 

An appointment was made for the second inoculation. 
In the interval — on May 6, 7, 8 and 9 — Messrs. Chamberland 
and Roux came to Pouilly le Fort to take the temperature 
of the vaccinated animals, and found nothing abnormal. 
On May 17 a second inoculation was made with a liquid 
which, though still attenuated, was more virulent than the 
first. If that liquid had been inoculated to begin with it 
would have caused a mortality of 50 per 100. 

" On Tuesday, May 31," wrote Pasteur to his son-in-law, 
" the third and last inoculation will take place — this time 
with fifty sheep and ten cows. I feel great confidence — for 
the two first, on the 5th and the 17th, have been effected 
under the best conditions without any mortality amongst 
the twenty-five vaccinated subjects. On June 5 at latest 
the final result will be known, and should be twenty-five 
survivors out of twenty-five vaccinated, and six cows. If 
the success is complete, this will be one of the finest 
examples of applied science in this century, consecrating 
one of the greatest and most fruitful discoveries." 

This great experiment did not hinder other studies being 
pursued in the laboratory. The very day of the second 
inoculation at Pouilly le Fort, Mme. Pasteur wrote to her 

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i88o-i882 

daughter, " One of the laboratory dogs seems to be sicken- 
ing for hydrophobia ; it seems that that would be very 
lucky, in view of the interesting experiment it would 
provide." 

On May 25, another letter from Mme. Pasteur shows how 
deeply each member of the family shared Pasteur's pre- 
occupations and hopes and was carried away with the 
stream of his ideas : " Your father has just brought great 
news from the laboratory. The new dog which was 
trephined and inoculated with hydrophobia died last night 
after nineteen days' incubation only. The disease mani- 
fested itself on the fourteenth day, and this morning the 
same dog was used for the trephining of a fresh dog, which 
was done by Roux with unrivalled skill. All this means 
that we shall have as many mad dogs as will be required 
for experiments, and those experiments will become 
extremely interesting. 

" Next month one of the master's delegates will go to the 
south of France to study the * rouget ' of swine, which 
ordinarily rages at this time. 

"It is much hoped that the vaccine of that disease will 
be found." 

The trephining of that dog had much disturbed Pasteur. 
He, who was described in certain anti-vivisectionist 
quarters as a laboratory executioner, had a great horror of 
inflicting suffering on any animal. 

" He could assist without too much effort," writes M. 
Roux, *' at a simple operation such as a subcutaneous 
inoculation, and even then, if the animal screamed at all, 
Pasteur was immediately filled with compassion, and tried 
to comfort and encourage the victim, in a way which would 
have seemed ludicrous if it had not been touching. The 
thought of having a dog's cranium perforated was very 
disagreeable to him ; he very much wished that the experi- 

135 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

ment should take place, and yet he feared to see it begun. 
I performed it one day when he was out. The next day, as 
I was telling him that the intercranial inoculation had 
presented no difficulty, he began pitying the dog. ' Poor 
thing ! His brain is no doubt injured, he must be 
paralysed ! ' I did not answer, but went to fetch the dog, 
whom I brought into the laboratory. Pasteur was not fond 
of dogs, but when he saw this one, full of life, curiously 
investigating every part of the laboratory, he showed the 
keenest pleasure, and spoke to the dog in the most 
affectionate manner. Pasteur was infinitely grateful to 
this dog for having borne trephining so well, thus lessen- 
ing his scruples for future trephining." 

As the day was approaching for the last experiments at 
Pouilly le Fort, excitement was increasing in the veteri- 
nary world. Every chance meeting led to a discussion ; 
some prudent men said " Wait." Those that believed were 
still few in number. 

One or two days before the third and decisive inoculation, 
the veterinary surgeon of Pont -sur- Yonne, M. Biot, who 
was watching with a rare scepticism the Pouilly le Fort 
experiments, met Colin on the road to Maisons-Alfort. 
" Our conversation " — M. Biot dictated the relation of this 
episode to M. Thierry, his colleague, also very sceptical 
and expecting the Tarpeian Rock — "our conversation 
naturally turned on Pasteur's experiments. Colin said : 
'You must beware, for there are two parts in the 
bacteridia-culture broth: one upper part which is inert, 
and one deep part very active, in which the bacteridia 
become accumulated, having dropped to the bottom because 
of their weight. The vaccinated sheep will be inoculated 
with the upper part of the liquid, whilst the others will be 
inoculated with the bottom liquid, which will kill them.' " 
Colin advised M. Biot to seize at the last moment the phial 

126 



i88o-i882 

containing the virulent liquid and to shake it violently, 
"so as to produce a perfect mixture rendering the whole 
uniformly virulent." 

If Bouley had heard such a thing, he would have lost his 
temper, or he would have laughed heartily. A year before 
this, in a letter to M. Thierry, who not only defended but 
extolled Colin, Bouley had written : 

" No doubt Colin is a man of some value, and he has 
cleverly taken advantage of his position of Chief of the 
Anatomy department at Alfort to accomplish some 
important labours. But it is notable that his negative 
genius has ever led him to try and demolish really great 
work. He denied Davaine, Marey, Claude Bernard, 
Chauveau ; now he is going for Pasteur." Bouley, to whom 
Colin was indebted for his situation at Alfort, might have 
added, "And he calls me his persecutor!" But Biot 
refused to believe in Colin's hostility and only credited 
him with scruples on the question of experimental physio- 
logy. Colin did not doubt M. Pasteur's bonâ-fides, M. Biot 
said, but only his aptitude to conduct experiments in anima 
vili. 

On May 31, every one was at the farm. M. Biot executed 
Colin's indications and shook the virulent tube with real 
veterinary energy. He did more: still acting on advice 
from Colin, who had told him that the effective virulence 
was in direct proportion to the quantity injected, he asked 
that a larger quantity of liquid than had been intended 
should be inoculated into the animals. A triple dose was 
given. Other veterinary surgeons desired that the virulent 
liquid should be inoculated alternatively into vaccinated and 
unvaccinated animals. Pasteur lent himself to these 
divers requests with impassive indifference and without 
seeking for their motives. 

At half-past three everything was done, and a rendezvous 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

fixed for June 2 at the same place. The proportion between 
believers and unbelievers was changing. Pasteur seemed 
so sure of his ground that many were saying " He can 
surely not be mistaken." One little group had that very 
morning drunk to a fiasco. But, whether from a sly 
desire to witness a failure, or from a generous wish to be 
present at the great scientific victory, every man im- 
patiently counted the hours of the two following days. 

On June 4, Messrs. Chamberland and Roux went back to 
Pouilly le Fort to judge of the condition of the patients. 
Amongst the lot of unvaccinated sheep, several were 
standing apart with drooping heads, refusing their food. 
A few of the vaccinated subjects showed an increase of 
temperature, one of them even had 40° C. (104° Fahrenheit) ; 
one sheep presented a shght oedema of which the point of 
inoculation was the centre ; one lamb was lame, another 
manifestly feverish, but all, save one, had preserved their 
appetite. All the unvaccinated sheep were getting worse 
and worse. " In all of them," noted M. Rossignol, " breath- 
lessness is at its maximum ; the heaving of the sides is now 
and then interrupted by groans. If the most sick are 
forced to get up and walk, it is with great difficulty that 
they advance a few steps, their limbs being so weak 
and vacillating." Three had died by the time M. Rossignol 
left Pouilly le Fort. " Everything leads me to believe," he 
wrote, " that a great number of sheep will succumb during 
the night." 

Pasteur's anxiety was great when Messrs. Chamberland 
and Roux returned, having noticed a rise in the temperature 
of certain vaccinated subjects. It was increased by the arrival 
of a telegram from M. Rossignol announcing that he con- 
sidered one sheep as lost. By a sudden reaction, Pasteur, 
who had drawn up such a bold programme, leaving no 
margin for the unexpected, and who the day before seemed 

128 



i88o-i882 

of an imperturbable tranquillity among all those sheep, the 
life or death of whom was about to decide between an 
immortal discovery and an irremediable failure, now felt 
himself beset with doubts and anguish. 

Bouley, who had that evening come to see his master, as 
he liked to call him, could not understand this reaction — the 
result of too much strain on the mind, said M. Roux, whom 
it did not astonish. Pasteur's emotional nature, strangely 
allied to his fighting temperament, was mastering him. 
" His faith staggered for a time," writes M. Roux, " as if 
the experimental method could betray him." The night 
was a sleepless one. 

" This morning, at eight o'clock," wrote Mme. Pasteur to 
her daughter, " we were still very much excited and await- 
ing the telegram which might announce some disaster. 
Your father would not let his mind be distracted from his 
anxiety. At nine o'clock the laboratory was informed, and 
the telegram handed to me five minutes later. I had a 
moment's emotion, which made me pass through all the 
colours of the rainbow. Yesterday, a considerable rise of 
temperature had been noticed with terror in one of the 
sheep; this morning that same sheep was well again." 

On the arrival of the telegram Pasteur's face lighted 
up ; his joy was deep, and he desired to share it im- 
mediately with his absent children. Before starting for 
Melun, he wrote them this -letter : 

^^ June 2, i88i. 

" It is only Thursday, and I am already writing to you ; 
it is because a great result is now acquired. A wire from 
Melun has just announced it. On Tuesday last, 31st May, 
we inoculated all the sheep, vaccinated and non- vaccinated, 
with very virulent splenic fever. It is not forty-eight hours 
ago. Well, the telegram tells me that, when we arrive at 
two o'clock this afternoon, all the non-vaccinated subjects 

VOL. II. 129 K 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

will be dead ; eighteen were already dead this morning, and 
the others dying. As to the vaccinated ones, they are all 
well ; the telegram ends by the words ' stunning success ' ; 
it is from the veterinary surgeon, M. Rossignol. 

" It is too early yet for a final judgment ; the vaccinated 
sheep might yet fall ill. But when I write to you on Sunday, 
if all goes well, it may be taken for granted that they will 
henceforth preserve their good health, and that the success 
will indeed have been startling. On Tuesday, we had a 
foretaste of the final results. On Saturday and Sunday, two 
sheep had been abstracted from the lot of twenty-five 
vaccinated sheep, and two from the lot of twenty-five non- 
vaccinated ones, and inoculated with a very virulent virus. 
Now, when on Tuesday all the visitors arrived, amongst 
whom were M. Tisserand, M. Patinot, the Prefect of Seine 
et Marne, M. Foucher de Careil, Senator, etc., we found 
the two unvaccinated sheep dead, and the two others 
in good health. I then said to one of the veterinary sur- 
geons who were present, ' Did I not read in a newspaper, 
signed by you, à propos of the virulent little organism of 
saliva, ' There ! one more microbe ; when there are loo we 
shall make a cross.' ' It is true,' he immediately answered, 
honestly. ' But I am a converted and repentant sinner.' 
' Well, I answered, allow me to remind you of the words of 
the Gospel : Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that 
repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons 
which need no repentance.' Another veterinary surgeon 
who was present said, ' I will bring you another, M. Colin.' 
' You are mistaken,' I replied. ' M. Colin contradicts for 
the sake of contradicting, and does not believe because he 
will not believe. You would have to cure a case of 
neurosis, and you cannot do that ! ' Joy reigns in the 
laboratory and in the house. Rejoice, my dear children." 

When Pasteur arrived, at two o'clock in the afternoon, at 

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the farmyard of Pouilly le Fort, accompanied by his young 
collaborators, a murmur of applause arose, which soon 
became loud acclamation, bursting from all lips. Dele- 
gates from the Agricultural Society of Melun, from medical 
societies, veterinary societies, from the Central Council of 
Hygiene of Seine et Marne, journalists, small farmers who 
had been divided in their minds by laudatory or injurious 
newspaper articles — all were there. The carcases of twenty- 
two unvaccinated sheep were lying side by side ; two others 
were breathing their last; the last survivors of the sacri- 
ficed lot showed all the characteristic symptoms of splenic 
fever. All the vaccinated sheep were in perfect health. 

Bouley's happy face reflected the feelings which were so 
characteristic of his attractive personality : enthusiasm for 
a great cause, devotion to a great man. M. Rossignol, in 
one of those loyal impulses which honour human nature, 
disowned with perfect sincerity his first hasty judgment ; 
Bouley congratulated him. He himself, many years before, 
had allowed himself to judge too hastily, he said, of certain 
experiments of Davaine's, of which the results then ap- 
peared impossible. After having witnessed these experi- 
ments, Bouley had thought it a duty to proclaim his error 
at the Académie de Médecine, and to render a public homage 
to Davaine. " That, I think," he said, " is the line of con- 
duct which should always be observed ; we honour our- 
selves by acknowledging our mistakes and by rendering 
justice to neglected merit." 

No success had ever been greater than Pasteur's. The 
veterinary surgeons, until then the most incredulous, now 
convinced, desired to become the apostles of his doctrine. 
M. Biot spoke of nothing less than of being himself 
vaccinated and afterwards inoculated with the most active 
virus. Colin's absence was much regretted. Pasteur 
was not yet satisfied. " We must wait until the 5th of 

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June," he said, " for the experiment to be complete, and 
the proof decisive." 

M. Rossignol and M. Biot proceeded on the spot to the 
necropsy of two of the dead sheep. An abundance of 
bacteridia was very clearly seen in the blood through the 
microscope. 

Pasteur was accompanied back to the station by an 
enthusiastic crowd, saluting him — with a luxury of 
epithets contrasting with former ironies — as the immortal 
author of the magnificent discovery of splenic fever vaccin- 
ation, and it was decided that the farm of Pouilly le Fort 
would henceforth bear the name of Clos Pasteur. 

The one remaining unvaccinated sheep died that same 
night. Amongst the vaccinated lot one ewe alone caused 
some anxiety. She was pregnant, and died on the 4th of 
June, but from an accident due to her condition, and not 
from the consequences of the inoculation, as was proved by 
a post-mortem examination. 

Amongst the cattle, those which had been vaccinated 
showed no sign whatever of any disturbance ; the others 
presented enormous oedemata. 

Pasteur wrote to his daughter: "Success is definitely 
confirmed ; the vaccinated animals are keeping perfectly 
well, the test is complete. On Wednesday a report of the 
facts and results will be drawn up which I shall com- 
municate to the Académie des Sciences on Monday, and on 
Tuesday to the Académie de Médecine." 

And, that same day, he addressed a joyful telegram to 
Bouley, who, in his quality of General Inspector of Veterin- 
ary Schools, had been obliged to go to Lyons. Bouley 
answered by the following letter: 

"Lyons, June 5, 188 1. Dearest Master, your triumph 
has filled me with joy. Though the days are long past now 
when my faith in you was still somewhat hesitating, not 

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having sufficiently impregnated my mind with your spirit, 
as long as the event — which has just been realized in a 
a manner so rigorously in conformity with your predictions 
— was still in the future, I could not keep myself from feel- 
ing a certain anxiety, of which you were yourself the 
cause, since I had seen you also a prey to it, like all 
inventors on the eve of the day which reveals their glory. 
At last your telegram, for which I was pining^ has come 
to tell me that the world has found you faithful to all your 
promises, and that you have inscribed one more great date 
in the annals of Science, and particularly in those of 
Medicine, for which you have opened a new era. 

" I feel the greatest joy at your triumph; in the first place, 
for you, who are to-day receiving the reward of your noble 
efforts in the pursuit of Truth ; and — shall I tell you ? — for 
myself too, for I have so intimately associated myself with 
your work that I should have felt your failure absolutel}'' 
as if it had been personal to me. All my teaching at the 
Museum consists in relating your labours and predicting 
their fruitfulness." 

Those experiments at Pouilly le Fort caused a tremendous 
sensation ; the whole of France burst out in an explosion 
of enthusiasm. Pasteur now knew fame i;nder its rarest 
and purest form ; the loving veneration, the almost worship 
with which he inspired those who lived near him or worked 
with him, had become the feeling of a whole nation. 

On June 13, at the Académie des Sciences, he was able 
to state as follows his results and their practical conse- 
quences. " We now possess virus vaccines of charbon, 
capable of preserving from the deadly disease, without ever 
being themselves deadly — living vaccines, to be cultivated 
at will, transportable anywhere without alteration, and 
prepared by a method which we may believe susceptible of 
being generalized, since it has been the means of discover- 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

ing the vaccine of chicken-cholera. By the character of 
the conditions I am now enumerating, and from a purely- 
scientific point of view, the discovery of the vaccine of 
anthrax constitutes a marked step in advance of that of 
Jenner's vaccine, since the latter has never been experi- 
mentally obtained." 

On all sides, it was felt that something very great, very 
unexpected, justifying every sort of hope, had been brought 
forth. Ideas of research were coming up. On the very 
morrow of the results obtained at Pouilly le Fort, Pasteur 
was asked to go to the Cape to study a contagious disease 
raging among goats. 

"Your father would like to take that long journey," 
wrote Mme. Pasteur to her daughter, " passing on his way 
through Senegal to gather some good germs of pernicious 
fever ; but I am trying to moderate his ardour. I consider 
that the study of hydrophobia should suffice him for the 
present." 

He was at that time "at boiling point," as he put it — 
going from his laboratory work to the Academies of Sciences 
and Medicine to read some notes ; then to read reports at the 
Agricultural Society; to Versailles, to give a lecture to 
an Agronomic Congress, and to Alfort to lecture to the 
professors and students. His clear and well arranged 
words, the connection between ideas and the facts sup- 
porting them, the methodical recital of experiments, allied 
to an enthusiastic view of the future and its prospects — 
especially when addressing a youthful audience — deeply 
impressed his hearers. Those who saw and heard him 
for the first time were the more surprised that, in certain 
circles, a legend had formed round Pasteur's name. He 
had been described as of an irritable, intolerant temper, 
domineering and authoritative, almost despotic ; and people 
now saw a man of perfect simplicity, so modest that he did 

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i88o-i882 

not seem to realize his own glory, pleased to answer — even 
to provoke — every objection, only raising his voice to defend 
Truth, to exalt Work, and to inspire love for France, which 
he wished to see again in the first rank of nations. He did 
not cease to repeat that the country must regain her place 
through scientific progress. Boys and youths — ever quick 
to penetrate the clever calculations of those who seek their 
own interest instead of accomplishing a duty — listened to 
him eagerly and, very soon conquered, enrolled themselves 
among his followers. In him they recognized the three 
rarely united qualities which go to form true benefactors of 
humanity : a mighty genius, great force of character, and 
genuine goodness. 

The Republican Government, desirous of recognizing this 
great discovery of splenic fever vaccination, offered him 
the Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honour. Pasteur put 
forward one condition ; he wanted, at the same time, the red 
ribbon for his two collaborators. " What I have most set 
my heart upon is to obtain the Cross for Chamberland and 
Roux," he wrote to his son in law on June 26 ; " only at 
that price will I accept the Grand Cross. They are taking 
such trouble! Yesterday they went to a place fifteen 
kilometres from Senlis, to vaccinate ten cows and 250 
sheep. On Thursday we vaccinated 300 sheep at Vin- 
cennes. On Sunday they were near Coulommiers. On 
Friday we are going to Pithiviers. What I chiefly wish is 
that the discovery should be consecrated by an exceptional 
distinction to two devoted young men, full of merit and 
courage. I wrote yesterday to Paul Bert, asking him to 
intervene most warmly in their favour," 

One of Pasteur's earliest friends, who, in 1862, had greeted 
with joy his election to the Académie des Sciences, and 
who had never ceased to show the greatest interest in the 
progress due to the experimental method, entered the 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Ecole Normale laboratory with a beaming face. Happy to 
bring good tidings, he took his share of them like the 
devoted, hardworking, kindly man that he was. " M. 
Grandeau," wrote Mme. Pasteur to her children, "has 
just brought to the laboratory the news that Roux and 
Chamberland have the Cross and M. Pasteur the Grand 
Cross of the Legion of Honour. Hearty congratulations 
were exchanged in the midst of the rabbits and guinea- 
pigs." 

Those days were darkened by a great sorrow. Henri 
Sainte Claire Deville died. Pasteur was then reminded of 
the words of his friend in 1868 : " You will survive me, 
I am your senior; promise that you will pronounce my 
funeral oration." When formulating this desire, Sainte 
Claire Deville had no doubt been desirous of giving 
another direction to the presentiments of Pasteur, who 
believed himself death-stricken. But, whether it was from 
a secret desire, or from an affectionate impulse, he felt that 
none understood him better than Pasteur. Both loved 
Science after the same manner ; they gave to patriotism its 
real place ; they had hopes for the future of the human 
mind ; they were moved by the same religious feelings 
before the mysteries of the Infinite. 

Pasteur began by recalling his friend's wish : " And 
here am I, before thy cold remains, obliged to ask my 
memory what thou wert in order to repeat it to the 
multitude crowding around thy coffin. But how super- 
fluous ! Thy sympathetic countenance, thy witty merriment 
and frank smile, the sound of thy voice remain with us 
and live within us. The earth which bears us, the air we 
breathe, the elements, often interrogated and ever docile to 
answer thee, could speak to us of thee. Thy services to 
Science are known to the whole world, and every one who 

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i88o-i882 

has appreciated the progress of the human mind is now 
mourning for thee." 

He then enumerated the scientist's qualities, the inventive 
precision of that eager mind, full of imagination, and at 
the same time the strictness of analysis and the fruitful 
teaching so delightedly recognized by those who had 
worked with him, Debray, Troost, Fouqué, Grandeau, 
Hautefeuille, Gernez, Lechartier. Then, showing that, in 
Sainte Claire Deville, the man equalled the scientist : 

" Shall I now say what thou wert in private life ? Again, 
how superfluous ! Thy friends do not want to be reminded 
of thy warm heart. Thy pupils want no proofs of thy 
affection for them and thy devotion in being of service to 
them ! See their sorrow. 

" Should I tell thy sons, thy five sons, thy joy and pride, 
of the preoccupations of thy paternal and prudent tender- 
ness ? And can I speak of thy smiling goodness to her, the 
companion of thy life, the mere thought of whom filled thy 
eyes with a sweet emotion ? 

"Oh ! I implore thee, do not now look down upon thy 
weeping wife and afflicted sons : thou wouldst regret this 
life too much ! Wait for them rather in those divine regions 
of knowledge and full light, where thou knowest all now, 
where thou canst understand the Infinite itself, that terrible 
and bewildering notion, closed for ever to man in this 
world, and yet the eternal source of all Grandeur, of all 
Justice and all Liberty." 

Pasteur's voice was almost stifled by his tears, as had 
been that of J. B. Dumas speaking at Péclet's tomb. The 
emotions of savants are all the deeper that they are not 
enfeebled, as in so many writers or speakers, by the con- 
stant use of words which end by wearing out the feel- 
ings. 

Little groups slowly walking away from a country 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

churchyard seem to take with them some of the sadness 
they have been feeling, but the departure from a Paris 
cemetery gives a very different impression. Life imme- 
diately grasps again and carries away in its movement 
the mourners, who now look as if they had been witnessing 
an incident in which they were not concerned. Pasteur 
felt such bitter contrasts with all his tender soul, he had a 
cult for dear memories ; Sainte Claire Deville's portrait 
ever remained in his study. 

The adversaries of the new discovery now had recourse 
to a new mode of attack. The virus which had been used 
at Pouilly le Fort to show how efficacious were the preven- 
tive vaccinations, was, they said, a culture virus — some 
even said a Machiavellian preparation of Pasteur's. Would 
vaccinated animals resist equally well the action of the 
charbon blood itself, the really malignant and infallibly 
deadly blood? Those sceptics were therefore impatiently 
awaiting the result of some experiments which were being 
carried out near Chartres in the farm of Lambert. Sixteen 
Beauceron sheep were joined to a lot of nineteen sheep 
brought from Alfort and taken from the herd of 300 sheep 
vaccinated against charbon three weeks before, on the very 
day of the lecture at Alfort. On July 16, at 10 o'clock in 
the morning, the thirty-five sheep, vaccinated and non- 
vaccinated, were gathered together. The corpse of a 
sheep who had died of charbon four hours before, in a 
neighbouring farm, was brought into the field selected for 
the experiments. After making a post-mortem examina- 
tion and noting the characteristic injuries of splenic fever, 
ten drops of the dead sheep's blood were injected into each 
of the thirty-five sheep, taking one vaccinated at 
Alfort and one non-vaccinated Beauceron alternately. 
Two days later, on July 18, ten of the latter were already 

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i88o-i882 

dead, most of the others were prostrated. The vaccinated 
sheep were perfectly well. 

While the ten dead sheep were being examined, two 
more died, and three more on the 19th. Bouley, informed 
by the veterinary surgeon, Boutet, of those successive 
incidents, wrote on the 20th to Pasteur : " My dear 
Master, Boutet has just informed me of the Chartres event. 
All has been accomplished according to the master's words ; 
your vaccinated sheep have triumphantly come through the 
trial, and all the others save one are dead. That result is 
of special importance in a country-side where incredulity 
was being maintained in spite of all the demonstrations 
made. It seems that the doctors especially were refractory. 
They said it was too good to be true, and they counted on 
the strength of the natural charbon to find j^our method in 
default. Now they are converted, Boutet writes, and the 
veterinary surgeon too — one amongst others, whose brain 
it seems, was absolutely iron-clad — also the agricultors. 
There is a general Hosannah in your honour." 

After congratulating Pasteur on the Grand Cross, he 
added, " I was also very glad of the reward you have 
obtained for your two young collaborators, so full of your 
spirit, so devoted to your work and your person, and 
whose assistance is so self-sacrificing and disinterested. 
The Government has honoured itself by so happily crown- 
ing with that distinction the greatness of the discovery in 
which they took part." 

Henceforth, and for a time, systematic opposition ceased. 
Thousands and thousands of doses were used of the new 
vaccine, which afterwards saved millions to agriculture. 

A few days later, came a change in Pasteur's surround- 
ings. He was invited by the Organizing Committee to attend 
the International Medical Congress in London, and desired 
by the Government of the Republic to represent France. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

On August 3, when he arrived in St. James' Hall, filled to 
overflowing, from the stalls to the topmost galleries, he 
was recognized by one of the stewards, who invited him to 
come to the platform reserved for the most illustrious 
members of the Congress. As he was going towards the 
platform, there was an outburst of applause, hurrahs and 
acclamations. Pasteur turned to his two companions, his 
son and his son-in-law, and said, with a little uneasiness : 
"It is no doubt the Prince of Wales arriving; I ought to 
have come sooner." 

"But it is you that they are all cheering," said the 
President of the Congress, Sir James Paget, with his 
grave, kindly smile. 

A few moments later, the Prince of Wales entered, ac- 
companying his brother-in-law, the German Crown Prince. 

In his speech, Sir James Paget said that medical science 
should aim at three objects : novelty, utility and charity. 
The only scientist named, was Pasteur ; the applause was 
such that Pasteur, who was sitting behind Sir James Paget, 
had to rise and bow to the huge assembly. 

"I felt very proud," wrote Pasteur to Mme. Pasteur in a 
letter dated that same day, " I felt inwardly very proud, 
not for myself — you know how little I care for triumph ! — 
but for my country, in seeing that I was specially distin- 
guished among that immense concourse of foreigners, 
especially of Germans, who are here in much greater 
numbers than the French, whose total however reaches 
two hundred and fifty. Jean Baptiste and René were in 
the Hall ; you can imagine their emotion. 

" After the meeting, we lunched at Sir James Paget's 
house ; he had the Prussian Crown Prince on his right and 
the Prince of Wales on his left. Then there was a gather- 
ing of about twenty-five or thirty guests in the drawing- 
room. Sir James presented me to the Prince of Wales, to 

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i88o-i882 

whom I bowed, saying that I was happy to salute a friend 
to France. ' Yes,' he answered, * a great friend.' Sir 
James Paget had the good taste not to ask me to be 
presented to the Prince of Prussia; though there is ot 
course room for nothing but courtesy under such circum- 
stances, I could not have brought myself to appear to 
wish to be presented to him. But he himself came up to 
me and said, ' M. Pasteur, allow me to introduce myself to 
you, and to tell you that I had great pleasure in applauding 
you just now,' adding some more pleasant things." 

In the midst of the unexpected meetings brought about 
by that Congress, it was an interesting thing to see this 
son of a King and Emperor, the heir to the German 
crown, thus going towards that Frenchman whose con- 
quests were made over disease and death. Of what 
glory might one day dream this Prince, who became 
Frederic III ! 

His tall and commanding stature, the highest position 
in the Prussian army conferred on him by his father. King 
William, in a solemn letter dated from Versailles, October 
1870, — everything seemed to combine in making a warlike 
man of this powerful-looking prince. And yet was it not 
said in France that he had protested against certain 
barbarities, coldly executed by some Prussian generals 
during that campaign of 1870 ? Had he not considered the 
clauses of the Treaty of Frankfort as Draconian and 
dangerous? If he had been sole master, would he have 
torn Alsace away from France? What share would his 
coming reign bear in the history of civilization? . . . 
Fate had already marked this Prince, only fifty years old, 
for an approaching death. In his great sufferings, before 
the inexorable death which was suffocating him, he was 
heroically patient. His long agony began at San Remo, 
amongst the roses and sunshine ; he was an Emperor for 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

less than one hundred days, and, on his death-bed, words of 
peace, peace for his people, were on his lips. 

As Pasteur, coming to this Congress, was not only curious 
to see what was the place held in medicine and surgery by 
the germ-theory, but also desirous to learn as much as 
possible, he never missed a discussion and attended every 
meeting. It was in a simple sectional meeting that Bastian 
attempted to refute Lister. After his speech, the President 
suddenly said, "I call on M. Pasteur," though Pasteur had 
not risen. There was great applause ; Pasteur did not 
know English; he turned to Lister and asked him what 
Bastian had said. 

" He said," whispered Lister, " that microscopic organiza- 
tions in disease were formed by the tissues themselves." 

"That is enough for me," said Pasteur. And he then 
invited Bastian to try the following experiment : 

" Take an animal's limb, crush it, allow blood and other 
normal or abnormal liquids to spread around the bones, 
only taking care that the skin should neither be torn nor 
opened in any way, and I defy you to see any micro- 
organism formed within that limb as long as the illness 
will last." 

Pasteur, desired to do so by Sir James Paget at one of the 
great General Meetings of the Congress, gave a lecture on 
the principles which had led him to the attenuation of 
virus, on the methods which had enabled him to obtain the 
vaccines of chicken-cholera and of charbon, and, finally, on 
the results obtained. " In a fortnight," he said, " we 
vaccinated, in the Departments surrounding Paris, nearly 
20,000 sheep, and a great many oxen, cows and horses. . . . 

" Allow me," he continued, " not to conclude without telling 
you of the great joy that I feel in thinking that it is as a 
member of the International Medical Congress sitting in 
London that I have made known to you the vaccination of 

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i88o-i882 

a disease more terrible perhaps for domestic animals than 
is small-pox for man. I have given to the word vaccination 
an extension which I hope Science will consecrate as an 
homage to the merit and immense services rendered by your 
Jenner, one of England's greatest men. It is a great 
happiness to me to glorify that immortal name on the very 
soil of the noble and hospitable city of London ! " 

" Pasteur was the greatest success of the Congress," 
wrote the correspondent of the Journal des Débats^ Dr. 
Daremberg, glad as a Frenchman and as a physician to 
hear the unanimous hurrahs which greeted the delegate of 
France. " When M. Pasteur spoke, w^hen his name was 
mentioned, a thunder of applause rose from all benches, 
from all nations. An indefatigable worker, a sagacious 
seeker, a precise and brilliant experimentalist, an implacable 
logician, and an enthusiastic apostle, he has produced an 
invincible effect on every mind." 

The English people, who chiefly look in a great man for 
power of initiative and strength of character, shared this 
admiration. One group only, alone in darkness, away 
from the Congress, was hostile to the general movement 
and was looking for an opportunity for direct or indirect 
revenge ; it was the group of antivaccinators and anti- 
vivisectionists. The influence of the latter was great 
enough in England to prevent experimentation on animals. 
At a general meeting of the Congress, Virchow, the 
German scientist, spoke on the use of experimenting in 
pathology. 

Already at a preceding Congress held in Amsterdam, 
Virchow had said amid the applause of the Assembly : 
" Those who attack vivisection have not the faintest idea of 
Science, and even less of the importance and utility of 
vivisection for the progress of medicine." But to this just 
argument, the international leagues for the protection of 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

animals — very powerful, like everything that is founded on 
a sentiment which may be exalted — had answered by com- 
bative phrases. The physiological laboratories were compared 
to chambers of torture. It seemed as if, through caprice or 
cruelty, quite uselessly at any rate, this and that man of 
science had the unique desire of inflicting on bound 
animals, secured on a board, sufferings of which death was 
the only limit. It is easy to excite pity towards animals ; 
an audience is conquered as soon as dogs are mentioned. 
Which of us, whether a cherished child, a neglected old 
maid, a man in the prime of his youth or a misanthrope 
weary of everything, has not, holding the best place in his 
recollections, the memory of some example of fidelity, 
courage or devotion given by a dog ? In order to raise the 
revolt, it was sufficient for anti-vivisectionists to evoke 
amongst the ghosts of dog martyrs, the oft-quoted dog who, 
whilst undergoing an experiment, licked the hand of the 
operator. As there had been some cruel abuses on the 
part of certain students, those abuses alone were quoted. 
Scientists did not pay much heed to this agitation, partly a 
feminine one : they relied on the good sense of the public to 
put an end to those doleful declamations. But the English 
Parliament voted a Bill prohibiting vivisection ; and, after 
1876, English experimentalists had to cross the Channel to 
inoculate a guinea-pig. 

Virchow did not go into details ; but, in a wide exposé of 
Experimental Physiological Medicine, he recalled how, at 
each new progress of Science — at one time against the 
dissection of dead bodies and now against experiments 
on living animals, — the same passionate criticisms had been 
renewed. The Interdiction Bill voted in England had filled a 
new Leipzig Society with ardour ; it had asked the Reichstag 
in that same year, 188 1, to pass a law punishing cruelty to 
animals under pretext of scientific research, by imprison- 

144 



i88o-i882 

ment, varying between five ■weel5:s and two years, and 
deprivation of civil rights. Other societies did not go 
quite so far, but asked that some of their members should 
have a right of entrance and inspection into the labora- 
tories of the Faculties. 

"He who takes more interest in animals than in Science 
and in the knowledge of truth is not qualified to inspect 
officially things pertaining to Science," said Virchow. 
With an ironical gravity on his quizzical wrinkled face, he 
added, " Where shall we be if a scientist who has just begun 
a bona fide experiment finds himself, in the midst of his 
researches, obliged to answer questions from a new-comer 
and afterwards to defend himself before some magistrate 
for the crime of not having chosen another method, other 
instruments, perhaps another experiment ? . . . 

" We must prove to the whole world the soundness of our 
cause," concluded Virchow, uneasy at those " leagues " 
which grew and multiplied, and scattered through in- 
numerable lecture halls the most fallacious judgments on 
the work of scientists. 

Pasteur might have brought him, to support his state- 
ments relative to certain deviations of ideas and sentiments, 
numberless letters which reached him regularly from 
England — letters full of threats, insults and maledictions, 
devoting him to eternal torments for having multiplied his 
crimes on the hens, guinea-pigs, dogs and sheep of the 
laboratory. Love of animals carries some women to such 
lengths ! 

It would have been interesting, if, after Virchow's speech, 
some French physician had in his turn related a series 
of facts, showing how prejudices equally tenacious had had 
to be struggled against in France, and how savants had 
succeeded in enforcing the certainty that there can be no 
pathological science if Physiology is not progressing, and 

VOL. II. 145 L 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

that it can only progress by means of the experimental 
method. Claude Bernard had expressed this idea under 
so many forms that it would almost have been enough to 
give a few extracts from his works. 

In 1 84 1, when he was Magendie's curator, he was one 
day attending a lesson on experimental physiology, when 
he saw an old man come in, whose costume — a long coat 
with a straight collar and a hat with a very wide brim — 
indicated a Quaker. 

"Thou hast no right," he said, addressing Magendie, " to 
kill animals or to make them suffer. Thou givest a wicked 
example and thou accustomest thy fellow creatures to 
cruelty." 

Magendie replied that it was a pity to look at it from that 
point of view, and that a physiologist, when moved by the 
thought of making a discovery useful to Medicine, and 
consequently useful to his fellow-creatures, did not deserve 
that reproach. 

" Your countryman Harvey," said he, hoping to convince 
him, " would not have discovered the circulation of the 
blood if he had not made some experiments in vivisection. 
That discovery was surely worth the sacrifice of a few 
deer in Charles the First's Park?" 

But the Quaker stuck to his idea ; his mission, he said, 
was to drive three things from this world : war, hunting 
and shooting, and experiments on live animals. Magendie 
had to show him out. 

Three years later, Claude Bernard, in his turn, was taxed 
with barbarity by a Police Magistrate. In order to study 
the digestive properties of gastric juice, it had occurred to 
him to collect it by means of a cannula, a sort of silver tap 
which he adapted to the stomach of live dogs. A Berlin 
surgeon, M. Dieffenbach, who was staying in Paris, 
expressed a wish to see this application of a cannula 

146 



i88o-i882 

to the stomach. M. Pelouze, the chemist, had a laboratory 
in the Rue Dauphine ; he ofifered it to Claude Bernard. 
A stray dog was used as a subject for the experiment and 
shut up in the yard of the house, where Claude Bernard 
wished to keep a watch on him. But, as the treatment in 
no wise hindered the dog from running about, the door of 
the yard was hardly opened when he escaped, cannula 
and all. 

"A few days later," writes Claude Bernard in the course 
of an otherwise grave report concerning the progress of 
general physiology in France (1867), "I was still in bed, 
early one morning, when I received a visit from a man who 
came to tell me that the Police Commissary of the Medicine 
School District wished to speak to me, and that I must go 
round to see him. I went in the course of the day to the 
Police Commissariat of the Rue du Jardinet; I found a very 
respectable-looking little old man, who received me very 
coldly at first and without saying anything. He took me 
into another room and showed me, to my great astonish- 
ment, the dog on whom I had operated in M. Pelouze's 
laboratory, asking me if I confessed to having fixed that 
instrument in his stomach. I answered affirmatively, 
adding that I was delighted to see my cannula, which I 
thought I had lost. This confession, far from satisfying the 
Commissary, apparently provoked his wrath, for he gave 
me an admonition of most exaggerated severity, accom- 
panied with threats for having had the audacity to steal 
his dog to experiment on it. 

"I explained that I had not stolen his dog, but that I 
had bought it of some individuals who sold dogs to 
physiologists, and who claimed to be employed by the 
police in picking up stray dogs. I added that I was sorry to 
have been the involuntary cause of the grief occasioned in 
his household by the misadventure to the dog, but that the 

147 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

animal would not die of it ; that the only thing to do was 
to let me take away my silver cannula and let him keep 
his dog. Those last words altered the Commissary's 
language and completely calmed his wife and daughter. 
I removed my instrument and left, promising to return, 
which I did the next and following days. The dog was 
perfectly cured in a day or two, and I became a friend of 
the family, completely securing the Commissary's future 
protection. It was on that account that I soon after set up 
my laboratory in his District, and for many years 
continued my private classes of experimental physiology, 
enjoying the protection and warnings of the Commissary 
and thus avoiding much unpleasantness, until the time 
when I was at last made an assistant to Magendie at the 
Collège de France." 

The London Society for the Protection of Animals had 
the singular idea of sending to Napoleon III complaints, 
almost remonstrances, on the vivisection practised within 
the French Empire. The Emperor simply sent on those 
English lamentations to the Academy of Medicine. The 
matter was prolonged by academical speeches. In a letter 
addressed to M. Grandeau, undated, but evidently written 
in August, 1863, Claude Bernard showed some irritation, a 
rare thing with him. Declaring that he would not go to 
the Academy and listen to the " nonsense " of " those who 
protect animals in hatred of mankind" he gave his 
concluding epitome : "You ask me what are the principal 
discoveries due to vivisection, so that you can mention them 
as arguments for that kind of study. All the knowledge 
possessed by experimental ph3'^siology can be quoted in 
that connection ; there is not a single fact which is not the 
direct and necessary consequence of vivisection. From 
Galen, who, by cutting the laryngeal nerves, learnt their 
use for respiration and the voice, to Harvey, who discovered 

148 



i88o-i882 

circulation; Pecquet and Aselli, the lymphatic vessels; 
Haller, muscular irritability ; Bell and Magendie, the nervous 
functions, and all that has been learnt since the extension 
of that method of vivisection, which is the only experimental 
method ; in biology, all that is known on digestion, circula- 
tion, the liver, the sympathetic system, the bones, Develop- 
ment — all, absolutely all, is the result of vivisection, alone 
or combined with other means of study." 

In 1875, he again returned to this idea in his experimental 
medicine classes at the Collège de France : *' It is to 
experimentation that we owe all our precise notions on the 
functions of the viscera and a fortiori on the properties of 
such organs as muscles, nerves, etc." 

One more interesting quotation might have been offered 
to the members of the Congress. A Swede had questioned 
Darwin on vivisection, for the anti-vivisectionist propa- 
ganda was spreading on every side. Darwin, who, like 
Pasteur, did not admit that useless suffering should be 
inflicted on animals, (Pasteur carried this so far that he 
would never, he said, have had the courage to shoot a 
bird for sport) — Darwin, in a letter dated April 14th, 1881, 
approved any measures that could be taken to prevent 
cruelty, but he added : " On the other hand, I know that 
physiology can make no progress if experiments on living 
animals are suppressed, and I have an intimate conviction 
that to retard the progress of physiology is to commit a crime 
against humanity. . . . Unless one is absolutely ignorant 
of all that Science has done for humanity, one must be 
convinced that physiology is destined to render incalculable 
benefits in the future to man and even to animals. See the 
results obtained by M. Pasteur's work on the germs of 
contagious diseases : will not animals be the first to profit 
thereby? How many lives have been saved, how much 
suffering spared by the discovery of parasitic worms follow- 

149 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

ing on experiments made by Virchow and others on living 
animals! " 

The London Congress marked a step on the road of 
progress. Besides the questions which were discussed and 
which were capable of precise solution, the scientific spirit 
showed itself susceptible of permeating other general 
subjects. Instead of remaining the impassive Sovereign 
we are wont to fancy her, Science — and this was proved by 
Pasteur's discoveries and their consequences, as Paget, 
Tyndall, Lister, and Priestley loudly proclaimed — Science 
showed herself capable of associating with pure research 
and perpetual care for Truth, a deep feeling of com- 
passion for all suffering and an ever-growing thirst 
for self-sacrifice. 

Pasteur's speech at the London Medical Congress was 
printed at the request of an English M.P. and distributed to 
all the members of the House of Commons. Dr. H. Gueneau 
de Mussy, who had spent part of his life in England, having 
followed the Orleans family into exile, wrote to Pasteur on 
August 15, " I have been very happy in witnessing your 
triumph; you are raising us up again in the eyes of 
foreign nations." 

Applause was to Pasteur but a stimulus to further efforts. 
He was proud of his discoveries, but not vain of the effect 
they produced; he said in a private letter: "The Temps 
again refers, in a London letter, to my speech at the 
Congress. What an unexpected success ! " 

Having heard that yellow fever had just been brought 
into the Gironde, at the Pauillac lazaretto by the vessel 
Condé from Senegal, Pasteur immediately started for 
Bordeaux. He hoped to find the microbe in the blood of the 
sick or the dead, and to succeed in cultivating it. M. Roux 
hastened to join his master. 

If people spoke to Pasteur of the danger of infection, 

150 



I 880-1 882 

"What does it matter?" he said. "Life in the midst of 
danger is the life, the real life, the life of sacrifice, of 
example, of fruitfulness." 

He was vexed to find his arrival notified in the news- 
papers ; it worried him not to be able to work and to travel 
incognito. 

On September 17, he wrote to Mme. Pasteur : ". . . We 
rowed out to a great transport ship which is lying in the 
Pauillac roads, having just arrived. From our boat, we 
were able to speak to the men of the crew. Their health 
is good, but they lost seven persons at St, Louis, two 
passengers and five men of the crew. Save the captain 
and one engineer, they are all Senegalese negroes on that 
ship. We have been near another large steamboat, and yet 
another ; their health is equally good. . . . 

" The most afflicted ship is the Condé, which is in quaran- 
tine in the Pauillac roads, and near which we have not been 
able to go. She has lost eighteen persons, either at sea or 
at the lazaretto. ..." 

No experiment could be attempted — the patients were 
convalescent. " But," he wrote the next day, " the 
Richelieu will arrive between the 25th and 28th, I think 
with some passengers. ... It is more than likely that 
there will have been deaths during the passage, and 
patients for the lazaretto. I am therefore awaiting the 
arrival of that ship with the hope — God forgive a scientist's 
passion ! ! — that I may attempt some researches at the 
Pauillac lasaretto, where I will arrange things in conse- 
quence. You may be sure I shall take every precaution. 
In the meanwhile, what shall I do in Bordeaux? 

" I have made the acquaintance of the young librarian of 
the town library, which is a few doors from the Hôtel 
Richelieu, in the Avenues of Tourny. The library is opened 
to me at all hours : I am there even now, alone and very 

151 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

comfortably seated, surrounded with more Littré than I 
can possibly get through." 

For some months, several members of the Académie 
Française — according to the traditions of the Society 
which has ever thought it an honour to number among its 
members scientists such as Cuvier, Flourens, Biot, Claude 
Bernard, J. B. Dumas — had been urging Pasteur to become 
a candidate to the place left vacant by Littré. Pasteur 
w^as anxious to know not only the works, but the life of 
him whose place he might be called upon to fill. It was 
with some emotion that he first came upon the following 
lines printed on the title page of the translation of the 
works of Hippocrates; they are a dedication by Littré to 
the memory of his father, a sergeant-major in the Marines 
under the Revolution. 

"... Prepared by his lessons and by his example, I have 
been sustained through this long work by his ever present 
memory. I wash to inscribe his name on the first page of 
this book, in the writing of which he has had so much share 
from his grave, so that the w^ork of the father should not be 
forgotten in the Avork of the son, and that a pious and just 
gratitude should connect the work of the living with the 
heritage of the dead. ..." 

Pasteur in 1876 had obeyed a similar filial feeling when 
he wrote on the first page of his Studies on Beer — 

" To the memory of my father, a soldier under the first 
Empire, and a knight of the Legion of Honour. The more 
I have advanced in age, the better I have understood thy 
love and the superiority of thy reason. The efforts I have 
given to these Studies and those which have preceded them 
are the fruit of thy example and advice. Wishing to 
honour these pious recollections, I dedicate this work to thy 
memor}'." 

The two dedications are very similar. Those two 

152 



i88o-i882 

soldiers' sons had kept the virile imprint of the paternal 
virtues. A great tenderness was also in them both ; Littré, 
when he lost his mother, had felt a terrible grief, compar- 
able to Pasteur's under the same circumstances. 

In spite of Pasteur's interest in studying Littré in the 
Bordeaux library, he did not cease thinking of yellow fever. 
He often saw M. Berchon, the sanitary director, and 
inquired of him whether there were any news of the 
Richelieu. A young physician, Dr. Talmy, had expressed a 
desire to join Pasteur at Bordeaux and to obtain permission, 
when the time came, to be shut up with the patients in 
the lazaretto. Pasteur wrote on December 25 to Mme. 
Pasteur: "There is nothing new save the Minister's 
authorization to Dr. Talmy to enter the lazaretto ; I have 
just telegraphed to him that he might start. The owners 
of the Richelieu still suppose that she will reach Pauillac on 
Tuesday. M. Berchon, who is the first to be informed of 
what takes place in the roads, will send me a telegram as 
soon as the Richelieu is signalled, and we shall then 
go — M. Talmy, Roux and I — to ascertain the state of 
the ship, of course without going on board, which we 
should not be allowed to do if it has a suspicious bill 
of health." 

And, as Mme. Pasteur had asked what happened when a 
ship arrived, he continued in the same letter : " From his 
boat to windward, M. Berchon receives the ship's papers, 
giving the sanitary state of the ship day by day. Before 
passing from the hands of the captain of the vessel to those 
of the sanitary director, the papers are sprinkled over with 
chloride of lime. 

" If there are cases of illness, all the passengers are taken 
to the lazaretto ; only a few men are left on board the ship, 
which is henceforth in quarantine, no one being allowed to 
leave or enter it. 

153 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

"God permit that, in the body of one of those unfortunate 
victims of medical ignorance, I may discover some specific 
microscopic being. And after that? Afterwards, it would 
be really beautiful to make that agent of disease and death 
become its own vaccine. Yellow fever is one of the three 
great scourges of the East — bubonic plague, cholera, and 
yellow fever. Do you know that it is already a fine thing 
to be able to put the problem in those words ! " 

The Richelieu arrived, but she was free from fever. The 
last passenger had died during the crossing and his body 
had been thrown into the sea. 

Pasteur left Bordeaux and returned to his laboratory. 



154 



CHAPTER IV 
1882-I 884 

PASTEUR was in the midst of some new experiments 
when he heard that the date of the election to the 
Académie Française was fixed for December 8. Certain 
candidates spent half their time in fiacres^ paying the 
traditional calls, counting the voters, calculating their 
chances, and taking every polite phrase for a promise. 
Pasteur, with perfect simplicity, contented himself with 
saying to the Academicians whom he went to see, "I 
had never in my life contemplated the great honour of 
entering the Académie Française. People have been kind 
enough to say to me, * Stand and you will be elected.' It is 
impossible to resist an invitation so glorious for Science 
and so flattering to myself." 

One member of the Académie, Alexandre Dumas, refused 
to let Pasteur call on him. "I will not allow him to come 
and see me, he said; I will myself go and thank him 
for consenting to become one of us." He agreed with 
M. Grandeau, who wrote to Pasteur that " when Claude 
Bernard and Pasteur consent to enter the ranks of a 
Society, all the honour is for the latter." 

When Pasteur was elected, his youthfulness of sentiment 
was made apparent ; it seemed to him an immense honour 
to be one of the Forty. He therefore prepared his reception 
speech with the greatest care, without however allowing 
his scientific work to suffer. The life of his predecessor 

155 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

interested him more and more ; to work in the midst of 
family intimacy had evidently been Littré's ideal of 
happiness. 

Few people, beyond Littré's colleagues, know that his 
wife and daughter collaborated in his great work ; they 
looked out the quotations necessary to that Dictionary, of 
which, if laid end to end, the columns would reach a length 
of thirty-seven kilometres. The Dictionary, commenced in 
1857, when Littré was almost sixty years old, was only 
interrupted twice : in 186 1, when Auguste Comte's widow 
asked Littré for a biography of the founder of positive 
philosophy ; and in 1870, when the life of France was com- 
promised and arrested during long months. 

Littré, poor and disinterested as he was, had been able to 
realize his only dream, which was to possess a house in the 
country. Pasteur, bringing to bear in this, as in all things, 
his habits of scrupulous accuracy, left his laboratory for 
one day, and visited that villa, situated near Maisons- 
Laffitte. 

The gardener who opened the door to him might have 
been the owner of that humble dwelling ; the house was in 
a bad state of repair, but the small garden gave a look of 
comfort to the little property. It had been the only luxury 
of the philosopher, who enjoyed cultivating vegetables 
while quoting Virgil, Horace or La Fontaine, and listened 
to the nightingale when early dawn found him still sitting 
at his work. 

After visiting this house and garden, reflecting as they 
did the life of a sage, Pasteur said sadly, "Is it possible 
that such a man should have been so misjudged! " 

A crucifix, hanging in the room where Littré's family 
were wont to work, testified to his respect for the beliefs of 
his wife and daughter. " I know too well," he said one 
day, " what are the sufferings and difficulties of human life, 

156 



1882-1884 

to wish to take from any one convictions which may 
comfort them." 

Pasteur also studied the Positivist doctrine of which 
Auguste Comte had been the pontiff and Littré the prophet. 
This scientific conception of the world affirms nothing, 
denies nothing, beyond what is visible and easily demon- 
strated. It suggests altruism, a " subordination of per- 
sonality to sociability," it inspires patriotism and the love 
of humanity. Pasteur, in his scrupulously positive and 
accurate work, his constant thought for others, his self- 
sacrificing devotion to humanity, might have been supposed 
to be an adept of this doctrine. But he found it lacking in 
one great point. " Positivism," he said, " does not take into 
account the most important of positive notions, that of the 
Infinite." He wondered that Positivism should confine the 
mind within limits ; with an impulse of deep feeling, 
Pasteur, the scientist, the slow and precise observer, wrote 
the following passage in his speech: " What is beyond ? the 
human mind, actuated by an invincible force, will never 
cease to ask itself : What is beyond ? ... It is of no use to 
answer : Beyond is limitless space, limitless time or limitless 
grandeur; no one understands those words. He who 
proclaims the existence of the Infinite — and none can 
avoid it — accumulates in that affirmation more of the 
supernatural than is to be found in all the miracles of all 
the religions ; for the notion of the Infinite presents that 
double character that it forces itself upon us and yet is 
incomprehensible. When this notion seizes upon our 
understanding, we can but kneel. ... I see everywhere the 
inevitable expression of the Infinite in the world ; through 
it, the supernatural is at the bottom of every heart. The 
idea of God is a form of the idea of the Infinite. As long as 
the mystery of the Infinite weighs on human thought, 
temples will be erected for the worship of the Infinite, 

157 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

whether God is called Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, or Jesus ; 
and on the pavement of those temples, men will be seen 
kneeling, prostrated, annihilated in the thought of the 
Infinite." 

At that time, when triumphant Positivism was inspiring 
many leaders of men, the very man who might have given 
himself up to what he called " the enchantment of Science " 
proclaimed the Mystery of the universe ; with his in- 
tellectual humility, Pasteur bowed before a Power greater 
than human power. He continued with the following 
words, worthy of being preserved for ever, for they are of 
those which pass over humanity like a Divine breath: 
"Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal, 
and who obeys it : ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of the 
gospel virtues, therein lie the springs of great thoughts 
and great actions ; they all reflect light from the Infinite." 

Pasteur concluded by a supreme homage to Littré. 
"Often have I fancied him seated by his wife, as in a 
picture of early Christian times : he, looking down upon 
earth, full of compassion for human suffering ; she, a fervent 
Catholic, her eyes raised to heaven : he, inspired by all 
earthly virtues ; she, by every Divine grandeur ; uniting in 
one impulse and in one heart the twofold holiness which 
forms the aureole of the Man-God, the one proceeding from 
devotion to humanity, the other emanating from ardent 
love for the Divinity : she a saint in the canonic sense of the 
word, he a lay-saint. This last word is not mine ; I have 
gathered it on the lips of all those that knew him." 

The two colleagues whom Pasteur had chosen for his 
Academic sponsors were J. B. Dumas and Nisard. Dumas, 
who appreciated more than any one the scientific progress 
due to Pasteur, and who applauded his brilliant success, 
was touched by the simplicity and modesty which his 
former pupil showed, now as in the distant past, when the 

158 



I882-I884 

then obscure young man sat taking notes on the Sorbonne 
benches. 

Their mutual relationship had remained unchanged when 
Pasteur, accompanied by one of his family, rang at Dumas' 
door in March, 1882, with the manuscript of his noble 
speech in his pocket ; he seemed more like a student, respect- 
fully calling on his master, than like a savant affectionately 
visiting a colleague. 

Dumas received Pasteur in a little private study adjoin- 
ing the fine drawing-room where he was accustomed to 
dispense an elegant hospitality. Pasteur drew a stool up 
to a table and began to read, but in a shy and hurried 
manner, without even raising his eyes towards Dumas, who 
listened, enthroned in his armchair, with an occasional 
murmur of approbation. Whilst Pasteur's careworn face 
revealed some of his ardent struggles and persevering 
work, nothing perturbed Dumas' grave and gentle counten- 
ance. His smile, at most times prudently affable and 
benevolent in varying degree, now frankly illumined his 
face as he congratulated Pasteur. He called to mind his own 
reception speech at the Academy when he had succeeded 
Guizot, and the fact that he too had concluded by a con- 
fession of faith in his Creator. 

Pasteur's other sponsor, Nisard, almost an octogenarian, 
was not so happy as Dumas ; death had deprived him of 
almost all his old friends. It was a great joy to him when 
Pasteur came to see him on the wintry Sunday afternoons ; 
he fancied himself back again at the Ecole Normale and 
the happy days when he reigned supreme in that establish- 
ment. Pasteur's deference, greater even perhaps than it 
had been in former times, aided the delightful delusion. 
Though Nisard was ever inclined to bring a shade of 
patronage into every intimacy, he was a conversationalist 
of the old and rare stamp. Pasteur enjoyed hearing 

159 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Nisard's recollections and watching for a smile lighting up 
the almost blind face. Those Sunday talks reminded him 
of the old delightful conversations with Chappuis at the 
Besançon College when, in their youthful fervour, they 
read together André Chénier's and Lamartine's verses. 
Eighteen years later, Pasteur had not missed one of Sainte 
Beuve's lectures to the Ecole Normale students ; he liked that 
varied and penetrating criticism, opening sidelights on 
every point of the literary horizon. Nisard understood 
criticism rather as a solemn treaty, with clauses and 
conditions ; with his taste for hierarchy, he even gave 
different ranks to authors as if they had been students 
before his chair. But, when he spoke, the rigidity of his 
system was enveloped in the grace of his conversation. 
Pasteur had but a restricted corner of his mind to give 
to literature, but that corner was a privileged one ; he only 
read what was really worth reading, and every writer 
worthy of the name inspired him with more than esteem, 
with absolute respect. He had a most exalted idea of 
Literature and its influence on society ; he was saying one 
day to Nisard that Literature was a great educator: " The 
mind alone can if necessary suffice to Science ; both the mind 
and the heart intervene in Literature, and that explains 
the secret of its superiority in leading the general train 
of thought." This was preaching to an apostle : no homage 
to literature ever seemed too great in the eyes of Nisard. 

He approved of the modest exordium in Pasteur's 
speech — 

" At this moment when presenting myself before this 
illustrious assembly, I feel once more the emotion with 
which I first solicited your suffrages. The sense of my 
own inadequacy is borne in upon me afresh, and I should 
feel some confusion in finding myself in this place, were it 
not my duty to attribute to Science itself the honour — so 

i6o 



I882-I884 

to speak, an impersonal one — which you have bestowed 
upon me." 

The Permanent Secretary, Camille Doucet, well versed 
in the usages of the Institute, and preoccupied with the 
effect produced, thought that the public would not believe 
in such self-effacement, sincere as it was, and sent the 
following letter to Pasteur with the proof-sheet of his 
speech — 

" Dear and honoured colleague, allow me to suggest to 
you a modification of your first sentence ; your modesty 
is excessive." 

Camille Doucet had struck out the sense of my own in- 
adequacy is borne in upon me afresh^ and further so to speak , 
an impersonal one. Pasteur consulted Nisard, and the 
sense of my own inadequacy was replaced by the sense 
of my deficiencies, while Pasteur adhered energetically to 
so to speak, an impersonal one ; he saw in his election less 
a particular distinction than a homage rendered to Science 
in general. 

A reception at the Académie Française is like a sensa- 
tional first night at a theatre ; a special public is interested 
days beforehand in every coming detail. Wives, daughters, 
sisters of Academicians, great ladies interested in coming 
candidates, widows of deceased Academicians, laureates 
of various Academy prizes — the whole literary world 
agitates to obtain tickets. Pasteur's reception promised 
to be full of interest, some even said piquancy, for it fell 
to Renan to welcome him. 

In order to have a foretaste of the contrast between 
the two men it was sufficient to recall Kenan's opening 
speech three years before, when he succeeded Claude 
Bernard. His thanks to his colleagues began thus — 

" Your cenaculum is only reached at the age of 
Ecclesiastes, a delightful age of serene cheerfulness, when 

VOL. II. 161 M 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

after a laborious prime, it begins to be seen that all is 
but vanity, but also that some vain things are worthy of 
being lingeringly enjoyed." 

The two minds were as different as the two speeches ; 
Pasteur took everything seriously, giving to words their 
absolute sense ; Renan, an incomparable writer, with his 
supple, undulating style, slipped away and hid himself within 
the sinuosities of his own philosophy. He disliked plain 
statements, and was ever ready to deny when others 
affirmed, even if he afterwards blamed excessive negation 
in his own followers. He religiously consoled those whose 
faith he destroyed, and, whilst invoking the Eternal, claimed 
the right of finding fault even there. When applauded by 
a crowd, he would willingly have murmured Noli me 
tangere, and even added with his joyful mixture of disdain 
and good-fellowship, "Let infinitely witty men come 
unto me." 

On that Thursday, April 27, 1882, the Institute was 
crowded. When the noise had subsided, Renan, seated at 
the desk as Director of the Academy between Camille 
Doucet, the Permanent Secretary, and Maxime du Camp, 
the Chancellor, declared the meeting opened. Pasteur, 
looking paler than usual, rose from his seat, dressed in 
the customary green - embroidered coat of an Academi- 
cian, wearing across his breast the Grand Cordon of the 
Legion of Honour. In a clear, grave voice, he began by 
expressing his deep gratification, and, with the absolute 
knowledge and sincerity which always compelled the 
attention of his audience, of whatever kind, he proceeded 
to praise his predecessor. There was no artifice of com- 
position, no struggle after effect, only a homage to the 
man, followed almost immediately by a confession of dissent 
on philosophic questions. He was listened to with attentive 
emotion, and when he showed the error of Positivism in 

162 



I882-I884 

attempting to do away with the idea of the Infinite, and 
proclaimed the instinctive and necessary worship by 
Man of the great Mystery, he seemed to bring out all the 
weakness and the dignity of Man — passing through this 
world bowed under the law of Toil and with the prescience 
of the Ideal — into a startling and consolatory light. 

One of the privileges of the Academician who receives a 
new member, is to remain seated in his armchair before a 
table, and to comfortably prepare to read his own speech, 
in answer, often in contradiction, to the first. Renan, visibly 
enjoying the presidential chair, smiled at the audience with 
complex feelings, understood by some who were his assidu- 
ous readers. Respect for so much work achieved by a 
scientist of the first rank in the world ; a gratified feeling 
of the honour which reverted to France; some personal 
pleasure in welcoming such a man in the name of the 
Académie, and, at the same time in the opportunity for a 
light and ironical answer to Pasteur's beliefs — all these 
sensations were perceptible in Renan's powerful face, the 
benevolence of whose soft blue eyes was corrected by the 
redoubtable keenness of the smile. 

He began in a caressing voice by acknowledging that the 
Academy was somewhat incompetent to judge of the work 
and glory of Pasteur. " But," he added, with graceful 
eloquence, " apart from the ground of the doctrine, which 
is not within our attributions, there is. Sir, a greatness on 
which our experience of the human mind gives us a right 
to pronounce an opinion ; something which we recognize 
in the most varied applications, which belongs in the same 
degree to Galileo, Pascal, Michael- Angelo, or Molière; 
something which gives sublimity to the poet, depth to the 
philosopher, fascination to the orator, divination to the 
scientist. 

" That common basis of all beautiful and true work, that 

163 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

divine fire, that indefinable breath which inspires Science, 
Literature, and Art — we have found it in you, Sir — it is 
Genius. No one has walked so surely through the circles 
of elemental nature ; j^our scientific life is like unto a 
luminous tract in the great night of the Infinitesimally 
Small, in that last abyss where life is born." 

After a brilliant and rapid enumeration of the Pastorian 
discoveries, congratulating Pasteur on having touched 
through his art the very confines of the springs of life, 
Renan went on to speak of truth as he would have spoken 
of a woman : " Truth, sir, is a great coquette ; she will not 
be sought with too much passion, but often is most amenable 
to indifference. She escapes when apparently caught, but 
gives herself up if patiently waited for ; revealing herself 
after farewells have been said, but inexorable when loved 
with too much fervour." And further : "Nature is plebeian, 
and insists upon work, preferring horny hands and careworn 
brows." 

He then commenced a courteous controversy. Whilst 
Pasteur, with his vision of the Infinite, showed himself as 
religious as Newton, Renan, who enjoyed moral problems, 
spoke of Doubt with delectation. " The answer to the 
enigma which torments and charms us will never be given 
to us. . . . What matters it, since the imperceptible 
corner of reality which we see is full of delicious harmonies, 
and since life, as bestowed upon us, is an excellent gift, and 
for each of us a revelation of infinite goodness ? " 

Legend will probably hand to posterity a picture of 
Renan as he was in those latter days, ironically cheerful 
and unctuously indulgent. But, before attaining the 
quizzical tranquillity he now exhibited to the Academy, he 
had gone through a complete evolution. When about the 
age of forty-eight, he might bitterly have owned that there 
was not one basis of thought which in him had not crumbled 

164 



1882^-1884 

to dust. Beliefs, political ideas, his ideal of European 
civilization, all had fallen to the ground. After his separa- 
tion from the Church, he had turned to historical science ; 
Germany had appeared to him, as once to Madame de Staël 
and so many others, as a refuge for thinkers. It had 
seemed to him that a collaboration between France, England, 
and Germany would create " An invincible trinity, carry- 
ing the world along the road of progress through reason." 
But that German façade which he took for that of a temple 
hid behind it the most formidable barracks which Europe 
had ever known, and beside it were cannon foundries, 
death-manufactories, all the preparations of the German 
people for the invasion of France. His awakening was 
bitter ; war as practised by the Prussians, with a method 
in their cruelty, filled him with grief. 

Time passed and his art, like a lily of the desert growing 
amongst ruins, gave flowers and perfumes to surrounding 
moral devastation. A mixture of disdain and nobility 
now made him regard as almost imperceptible the number 
of men capable of understanding his philosophical eleva- 
tion. Pasteur had bared his soul ; Renan took pleasure in 
throwing light on the intellectual antithesis of certain 
minds, and on their points of contact. 

" Allow me, Sir, to recall to you your fine discovery of 
right and left tartaric acids. . . . There are some minds 
which it is as impossible to bring together as it is impossible, 
according to your own comparison, to fit two gloves one 
into the other. And yet both gloves are equally necessary ; 
they complete each other. One's two hands cannot be 
superposed, they may be joined. In the vast bosom of 
nature, the most diverse efforts, added to each other, 
combine with each other, and result in a most majestic 
unity." 

Renan handled the French language, "this old and 

165 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

admirable language, poor but to those who do not know it," 
with a dexterity, a choice of delicate shades, of tasteful 
harmonies which have never been surpassed. Able as he 
was to define every human feeling, he went on from the 
above comparison, painting divergent intellectual capabili- 
ties, to the following imprecation against death: "Death, 
according to a thought admired by M. Littré, is but a 
function, the last and quietest of all. To me it seems 
odious, hateful, insane, when it lays its cold blind hand on 
virtue and on genius. A voice is in us, which only great 
and good souls can hear, and that voice cries unceasingly 
' Truth and Good are the ends of thy life ; sacrifice all to 
that goal ' ; and when, following the call of that siren 
within us, claiming to bear the promises of life, we reach 
the place where the reward should await us, the deceitful 
consoler fails us. Philosophy, which had promised us the 
secret of death, makes a lame apology, and the ideal which 
had brought us to the limits of the air we breathe, dis- 
appears from view at the supreme hour when we look for 
it. Nature's object has been attained ; a powerful effort has 
been realized, and then, with characteristic carelessness, the 
enchantress abandons us and leaves us to the hooting birds 
of the night." 

Renan, save in one little sentence in his answ^er to 
Pasteur — " The divine work accomplishes itself by the 
intimate tendency to what is Good and what is True in the 
universe" — did not go further into the statement of his 
doctrines. Perhaps he thought them too austere for his 
audience ; he was wont to eschew critical and religious 
considerations when in a world which he looked upon as 
frivolous. Moreover he thought his own century amusing, 
and was willing to amuse it further. If he raised his eyes 
to Heaven, he said that we owe virtue to the Eternal, but 
that we have the right to add to it irony. Pasteur thought 

i66 



I882-I884 

it strange that irony should be applied to subjects which 
have beset so many great minds and which so many 
simple hearts solve in their own way. 

The week which followed Pasteur's reception at the 
Académie Française brought him a manifestation of 
applause in the provinces. The town of Aubenas in the 
Ardèche was erecting a statue to Olivier de Serres, and 
desired to associate with the name of the founder of the 
silk industry in France in the sixteenth century, that of 
its preserver in the nineteenth. 

This was the second time that a French town proclaimed 
its gratitude towards Pasteur. A few months before, the 
Melun Agricultural Society had held a special meeting in 
his honour, and had decided " to strike a medal with 
Pasteur's effigy on it, in commemoration of one of the 
greatest services ever rendered by Science to Agriculture." 

But amidst this paean of praise, Pasteur, instead of 
dwelling complacently on the recollection of his experiments 
at Pouilly le Fort, was absorbed in one idea, characteristic 
of the man ; he wanted to at once begin some experiments 
on the peripneumonia of horned cattle. The veterinary 
surgeon. Rossignol, had just been speaking on this subject 
to the meeting. Pasteur, who had recently been asked by 
the Committee of Epizootic Diseases to inquire into the 
mortality often caused by the inoculation of the peri- 
pneumonia virus, reminded his hearers in a few words 
of the variable qualities of virus and how the slightest 
impurity in a virus may exercise an influence on the effects 
of that virus. 

He and his collaborators had vainly tried to cultivate the 
virus of peripneumonia in chicken-broth, veal-broth, yeast- 
water, etc. They had to gather the virus from the lung of 
a cow which had died of peripneumonia, by means of tubes 

167 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

previously sterilized ; it was injected, with every precaution 
against alteration, under the skin of the tail of the animal, 
this part being chosen on account of the thickness of the 
skin and of the cellular tissue. By operating on other parts, 
serious accidents were apt to occur, the virus being ex- 
tremely violent, so much so in fact that the local irritation 
sometimes went so far as to cause the loss of part of the 
tail. At the end of the same year (1882), Pasteur published 
in the Recueil de la Médecine Vétérinaire a paper indicating 
the following means of preserving the virus in a state 01 
purity— 

" Pure virus remains virulent for weeks and months. 
One lung is sufficient to provide large quantities of it, and 
its purity can easily be tested in a stove and even in 
ordinary temperature. From one lung only, enough can be 
procured to be used for many animals. Moreover, without 
having recourse to additional lungs, the provision of virus 
could be maintained in the following manner : it would 
suffice, before exhausting the first stock of virus, to inocu- 
late a young calf behind the shoulder. Death speedily 
supei-venes, and all the tissues are infiltrated with a 
serosity, which in its turn becomes virulent. This also can 
be collected and preserved in a state of purity." It re- 
mained to be seen whether virus thus preserved would 
become so attenuated as to lose all degree of virulence. 

Aubenas, then, wished to follow the example of Melun. 
In deference to the unanimous wish of the inhabitants of 
the little town, Pasteur went there on the 4th of May. His 
arrival was a veritable triumph ; there were decorations at 
the station, floral arches in the streets, brass and other 
-bands, speeches from the Mayor, presentation of the 
Municipal Coimcil, of the Chamber of Commerce, etc., etc. 
Excitement reigned everywhere, and the music of the 
bands was almost drowned by the acclamations of the 

168 



I882-I884 

people. At the meeting of the Agricultural Society, Pas- 
teur was offered a medal with his own effigy, and a work 
of art representing genii around a cup, their hands full of 
cocoons. A little microscope — that microscope which had 
been called an impracticable instrument, fit for scientists 
only — figured as an attribute. 

" For us all," said the President of the Aubenas Spinning 
Syndicate, "you have been the kindly magician whose 
intervention conjured away the scourge which threatened 
us; in you we hail our benefactor." 

Pasteur, effacing his own personality as he had done at 
the Académie, laid all this enthusiasm and gratitude as an 
offering to Science. 

" I am not its object, but rather a pretext for it," he said, 
and continued : " Science has been the ruling passion of my 
life. I have lived but for Science, and in the hours of 
difficulty which are inherent to protracted efi'orts, the 
thought of France upheld my courage. I associated her 
greatness with the greatness of Science. 

" By erecting a statue to Olivier de Serres, the illustrious 
son of the Vivarais, you give to France a noble example ; 
you show to all that you venerate great men and the great 
things they have accomplished. Therein lies fruitful seed ; 
you have gathered it, may your sons see it grow and 
fructify. I look back upon the time, already distant, when, 
desirous of responding to the suggestions of a kind and 
illustrious friend, I left Paris to study in a neighbouring- 
Department the scourge which was decimating your mag- 
naneries. For five years I struggled to obtain some 
knowledge of the evil and the means of preventing it ; 
and, after having found it, I still had to struggle to implant 
in other minds the convictions I had acquired. 

" All that is past and gone now, and I can speak of it 
with moderation. I am not often credited with that 

169 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

characteristic, and yet I am the most hesitating of men, the 
most fearful of responsibility, so long as I am not in 
possession of a proof. But when solid scientific proofs 
confirm my convictions, no consideration can prevent me 
from defending what I hold to be true. 

" A man whose kindness to me was truly paternal (Biot), 
had for his motto : Per vias rectus. I congratulate myself 
that I borrowed it from him. If I had been more timid or 
more doubtful in view of the principles I had established, 
many points of science and of application might have 
remained obscure and subject to endless discussion. The 
hypothesis of spontaneous generation would still throw its 
veil over many questions. Your nurseries of silkworms 
would be under the sway of charlatanism, with no guide to 
the production of good seed. The vaccination of charbon, 
destined to preserve agriculture from immense losses, would 
be misunderstood and rejected as a dangerous practice. 

" Where are now all the contradictions ? They pass 
away, and Truth remains. After an interval of fifteen 
years, you now render it a noble testimony. I therefore 
feel a deep joy in seeing my efforts understood and cele- 
brated in an impulse of sympathy which will remain in my 
memory and in that of my family as a glorious recol- 
lection." 

Pasteur was not allowed to return at once to his 
laboratory. The agricultors and veterinary surgeons of 
Nîmes, who had taken an interest in all the tests on the 
vaccination of charbon, had, in their turn, drawn up a 
programme of experiments. 

Pasteur arrived at a meeting of the Agricultural Society 
of the Gard in time to hear the report of the veterinary 
surgeons and to receive the congratulations of the Society. 
The President expressed to him the gratitude of all the 
cattle-owners and breeders hitherto powerless to arrest the 

J70 



I882-I884 

progress of the disease which he had now vanquished. 
Whilst a commemoration medal was being offered to him 
and a banquet being prepared — for Southern enthusiasm 
always implies a series of toasts — Pasteur thanked these 
enterprising men who were contemplating new experiments 
in order to dispel the doubts of a few veterinary surgeons, 
and especially the characteristic distrust, felt by some of 
the shepherds, of everything that did not come from the 
South. Sheep, oxen, and horses, some of them vaccinated, 
others intact, were put at Pasteur's disposal ; he, with his 
usual energy, fixed the experiments for the next morning 
at eight o'clock. After inoculating all the animals with the 
charbon virus, Pasteur announced that those which had 
been vaccinated would remain unharmed, but that the 
twelve unvaccinated sheep would be dead or dying within 
forty-eight hours. An appointment was made for next 
day but one, on May 11, at the town knacker's, near 
the Bridge of Justice, where post-mortem examinations 
were made. Pasteur then went on to Montpellier, where 
he was expected by the Hérault Central Society of Agri- 
culture, who had also made some experiments and had 
asked him to give a lecture at the Agricultural School. He 
entered the large hall, feeling very tired, almost ill, but 
his face lighted up at the sight of that assembly of pro- 
fessors and students who had hurried from all the neigh- 
bouring Faculties, and those agricultors crowding from 
every part of the Department, all of them either full of 
scientific curiosity Ox xxxCved by their agricultural interests. 
His voice, at first weak and showing marks of weariness, 
soon became strengthened, and, forgetting his fatigue, he 
threw himself into the subject of virulent and contagious 
diseases. He gave himself up, heart and soul, to this 
audience for two whole hours, inspiring every one with his 
own enthusiasm. He stopped now and then to invite 

171 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

questions, and his answers to the objectors swept away the 
last shred of resistance. 

" We must not," said the Vice-President of the Agri- 
cultural Society, M. Vialla, "encroach further on the time of 
M. Pasteur, which belongs to France itself. Perhaps, 
however, he will allow me to prefer a last request : he has 
delivered us from the terrible scourge of splenic fever ; will 
he now turn to a no less redoubtable infection, viz. rot, 
which is, so to speak, endemic in our regions ? He will 
surely find the remedy for it." 

" I have hardly finished my experiments on splenic 
fever," answered Pasteur gently, " and you w^ant me to 
find a remedy for rot ! Why not for phylloxera as well? " 
And, while regretting that the days were not longer, he 
added, with the energy of which he had just given a new 
proof: "As to efforts, I am yours usque ad mortem.'' 

He afterwards was the honoured guest at the banquet pre- 
pared for him. It was now not only Sériciculture, but also 
Agriculture, which proclaimed its infinite gratitude to him ; 
he was given an enthusiastic ovation, in which, as usual, 
he saw no fame for himself, but for work and science only. 

On May ii, at nine o'clock in the morning, he was 
again at Nîmes, to meet the physicians, veterinary sur- 
geons, cattle-breeders, and shepherds at the Bridge of 
Justice. Of the twelve sheep, six were already dead, 
the others dying ; it was easy to see that their symptoms 
were the same as are characteristic of the ordinary splenic 
fever. " M. Pasteur gave all necessary explanations with 
his usual modesty and clearness," said the local papers. 

" And now let us go back to work ! " exclaimed Pasteur, 
as he stepped into the Paris express ; he was impatient to 
return to his laboratory. 

In order to give him a mark of public gratitude greater 

172 



I882-I884 

still than that which came from this or that district, the 
Académie des Sciences resolved to organize a general 
movement of Scientific Societies. It was decided to present 
him with a medal, engraved by Alphée Dubois, and bearing 
on one side Pasteur's profile and on the other the inscrip- 
tion : " To Louis Pasteur, his colleagues, his friends, and 
his admirers." 

On June 25, a Sunday, a delegation, headed by Dumas, 
and composed of Boussingault, Bouley, Jamin, Daubrée, 
Bertin, Tisserand, and Davaine, arrived at the Ecole 
Normale and found Pasteur in the midst of his family. 

" My dear Pasteur," said Dumas, in his deep voice, " forty 
years ago, you entered this building as a student. From the 
very first, your masters foresaw that you would be an 
honour to it, but no one would have dared to predict the 
startling services which you were destined to render to 
science, France, and the world." 

And after summing up in a few words Pasteur's great 
career, the sources of wealth which he had discovered or 
revived, the benefits he had acquired to medicine and 
surgery : " My dear Pasteur," continued Dumas, with an 
affectionate emotion, " your life has known but success. 
The scientific method which you use in such a masterly 
manner owes you its greatest triumphs. The Ecole Normale 
is proud to number you amongst its pupils ; the Académie 
des Sciences is proud of your work ; France ranks you 
amongst its glories. 

"At this time, when marks of public gratitude are 
flowing towards you from every quarter, the homage 
which we have come to offer you, in the name of your 
admirers and friends, may seem worthy of your particular 
attention. It emanates from a spontaneous and universal 
feeling, and it will preserve for posterity the faithful like- 
ness of your features. 

173 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

" May you, my dear Pasteur, long live to enjoy your fame, 
and to contemplate the rich and abundant fruit of your 
work. Science, agriculture, industry, and humanity, will 
preserve eternal gratitude towards you, and your name will 
live in their annals amongst the most illustrious and the 
most revered." 

Pasteur, standing with bowed head, his eyes full of tears, 
was for a few moments unable to reply, and then, making 
a violent effort, he said in a low voice — 

" My dear master — it is indeed forty years since I first 
had the happiness of knowing you, and since you first 
taught me to love science. 

" I was fresh from the country ; after each of your classes, 
I used to leave the Sorbonne transported, often moved to 
tears. From that moment, your talent as a professor, your 
immortal labours and your noble character have inspired 
me with an admiration which has but grown with the 
maturity of my mind. 

" You have surely guessed my feelings, my dear master. 
There has not been one important circumstance in my life 
or in that of my family, either happy or painful, which you 
have not, as it were, blessed by your presence and 
sympathy. 

"Again to-day, you take the foremost rank in the 
expression of that testimony, very excessive, I think, of the 
esteem of my masters, who have become my friends. And 
what you have done for me, you have done for all your 
pupils; it is one of the distinctive traits of your nature. 
Behind the individual, you have always considered France 
and her greatness. 

"What shall I do henceforth? Until now, great praise 
had inflamed my ardour, and only inspired me with the 
idea of making myself worthy of it by renewed efforts ; 
but that which you have just given me in the names of the 

174 



I882-I884 

Académie and of the Scientific Societies is in truth beyond 
my courage." 

Pasteur, who for a year had been applauded by the 
crowd, received on that June 25, 1882, the testimony 
which he rated above every other : praise from his 
master. 

Whilst he recalled the beneficent influence which Dumas 
had had over him, those who were sitting in his drawing- 
room at the Ecole Normale were thinking that Dumas 
might have evoked similar recollections with similar charm. 
He too had known enthusiasms which had illumined his 
youth. In 1822, the very year when Pasteur was born, 
Dumas, who was then living in a student's attic at Geneva, 
received the visit of a man about fifty, dressed Directoire 
fashion, in a light blue coat with steel buttons, a white 
waistcoat and yellow breeches. It was Alexander von 
Humboldt, who had wished, on his way through Geneva, to 
see the young man who, though only twenty-two years old, 
had just published, in collaboration with Prévost, treatises 
on blood and on urea. That visit, the long conversations, 
or rather the monologues, of Humboldt had inspired Dumas 
with the feelings of surprise, pride, gratitude and devotion 
with which the first meeting with a great man is wont to 
fill the heart of an enthusiastic youth. When Dumas 
heard Humboldt speak of Laplace, Berthollet, Gay-Lussac, 
Arago, Thenard, Cuvier, etc., and describe them as familiarly 
accessible, instead of as the awe-inspiring personages he had 
imagined, Dumas became possessed with the idea of going 
to Paris, knowing those men, living near them and imbib- 
ing their methods. "On the day when Humboldt left 
Geneva," Dumas used to say, " the town for me became 
empty." It was thus that Dumas' journey to Paris was 
decided on, and his dazzling career of sixty years begun. 

He was now near the end of his scientific career, closing 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

peacefully like a beautiful summer evening, and he was 
happy in the fame of his former pupil. As he left the 
Ecole Normale, on that June afternoon, he passed under 
the windows of the laboratory, where a few young men, 
imbued with Pasteur's doctrines, represented a future 
reserve for the progress of science. 

That year 1882 was the more interesting in Pasteur's 
life, in that though victory on many points was quite indis- 
putable, partial struggles still burst out here and there, and 
an adversary often arose suddenly when he had thought the 
engagement over. 

The sharpest attacks came from Germany. The Record 
of the Works of the German Sanitary Office had led, 
under the direction of Dr. Koch and his pupils, a veritable 
campaign against Pasteur, whom they declared incapable 
of cultivating microbes in a state of purity. He did not 
even, they said, know how to recognize the septic vibrio, 
though he had discovered it. The experiments by which 
hens contracted splenic fever under a lowered temperature 
after inoculation signified nothing. The share of the earth- 
worms in the propagation of charbon, the inoculation into 
guinea-pigs of the germs found in the little cylinders pro- 
duced by those worms followed b}^ the death of the guinea- 
pigs, all this they said was pointless and laughable. They 
even contested the preserving influence of vaccination. 

Whilst these things were being said and written, the 
Veterinary School of Berlin asked the laboratory of the 
Ecole Normale for some charbon vaccine. Pasteur 
answered that he wished that experiments should be 
made before a commission nominated by the German 
Government. It was constituted by the Minister of 
Agriculture and Forests, and Virchow was one of the 
members of it. A former student of the Ecole Normale — 

176 



I883-I884 

who, after leaving the school first on the list of competitors 
for the agrégation of physical science, had entered the 
laboratory — one in whom Pasteur founded many hopes, 
Thuillier, left for Germany with his little tubes of 
attenuated virus, Pasteur was not satisfied; he would 
have liked to meet his adversaries face to face and oblige 
them publicly to own their defeat. An opportunity was 
soon to arise. He had come to Arbois, as usual, for the 
months of August and September, and was having some 
alterations made in his little house. The tannery pits 
were being filled up. " It will not improve the house 
itself," he wrote to his son, " but it will be made brighter 
and more comfortable by having a tidy yard and a garden 
along the riverside." 

The Committee of the International Congress of Hygiene, 
which was to meet at Geneva, interrupted these peaceful 
holidays, by inviting Pasteur to read a paper on attenuated 
virus. As a special compliment, the whole of one meeting, 
that of the Tuesday, September 5, was to be reserved for 
his paper only. Pasteur immediately returned to work; 
he only consented under the greatest pressure, to go for a 
short walk on the Besançon road at five o'clock every 
afternoon. After spending the whole morning and the 
whole afternoon sitting at his writing table over laboratory 
registers, he came away grumbling at being disturbed in 
his work. If any member of his family ventured a ques- 
tion on the proposed paper, he hastily cut them short, 
declaring that he must be let alone. It was only when 
Mme. Pasteur had copied out in her clear handwriting 
all the little sheets covered with footnotes, that the con- 
tents of the paper became known. 

When Pasteur entered the Congress Hall, great applause 
greeted him on every side. The seats were occupied, not 
only by the physicians and professors who form the usual 

VOL. II. 177 N 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

audience of a congress, but also by tourists, who take an in- 
terest in scientific things when they happen to be the fashion. 

Pasteur spoke of the invitation he had received. " I 
hastened to accept it," he said, " and I am pleased to 
find myself the guest of a country which has been 
a friend to France in good as in evil days. Moreover, I 
hoped to meet here some of the contradictors of my work 
of the last few years. If a congress is a ground for con- 
ciliation, it is in the same degree a ground for courteous 
discussion. We all are actuated by a supreme passion, that 
of progress and of truth." 

Almost always, at the opening of a congress, great 
politeness reigns in a confusion of languages. Men are 
seen offering each other pamphlets, exchanging visiting 
cards, and only lending an inattentive ear to the solemn 
speeches going on. This time, the first scene of the first 
act suspended all private conversation. Pasteur stood 
above the assembly in his full strength and glory. 
Though he was almost sixty, his hair had remained 
black, his beard alone was turning grey. His face re- 
flected indomitable energy; if he had not been slightly 
lame, and if his left hand had not been a little stiff, no 
one could have supposed that he had been struck with 
paralysis fourteen years before. The feeling of the place 
France should hold in an International Congress gave him a 
proud look and an imposing accent of authority. He was 
visibly ready to meet his adversaries and to make of this 
assembly a tribunal of judges. Except for a few diplomats 
who at the first words exchanged anxious looks at the idea 
of possible polemics. Frenchmen felt happy at being better 
represented than any other nation. Men eagerly pointed 
out to each other Dr. Koch, twenty-one years younger than 
Pasteur, who sat on one of the benches, listening, with im- 
passive e^^es behind his gold spectacles. 

178 



I882-I884 

Pasteur analysed all the work he had done with the 
collaboration of MM. Chamberland, Roux, and Thuillier. 
He made clear to the most ignorant among his hearers 
his ingenious experiments either to obtain, preserve or 
modify the virulence of certain microbes. " It cannot be 
doubted," he said, "that we possess a general method 
of attenuation. . . . The general principles are found, 
and it cannot be disbelieved that the future of those 
researches is rich with the greatest hopes. But, however 
obvious a demonstrated truth may be, it has not always 
the privilege of being easily accepted. I have met in 
France and elsewhere with some obstinate contradictors. 
. . . Allow me to choose amongst them the one whose 
personal merit gives him the greatest claims to our atten- 
tion, I mean Dr. Koch, of Berlin. 

Pasteur then summed up the various criticisms which 
had appeared in the Record of the Works of the German 
Sanitary Office. " Perhaps there may be some persons in 
this assembly," he went on, " who share the opinions of my 
contradictors. They will allow me to invite them to speak ; 
I should be happy to answer them." 

Koch, mounting the platform, declined to discuss the 
subject, preferring, he said, to make answer in writing 
later on. Pasteur was disappointed ; he would have wished 
the congress, or at least a Commission designated by 
Koch, to decide on the experiments. He resigned himself 
to wait. On the following days, as the members of the 
Congress saw him attending meetings on general hygiene, 
school hygiene, and veterinary hygiene, they hardly recog- 
nized in the simple, attentive man, anxious for instruction, 
the man who had defied his adversary. Outside the arena, 
Pasteur became again the most modest of men, never 
allowing himself to criticize what he had not thoroughly 
studied. But, when sure of his facts, he showed himself 

179 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

full of a violent passion, the passion of truth ; when truth 
had triumphed, he preserved not the least bitterness of 
former struggles. 

That day of the 5th September was remembered in 
Geneva. " All the honour was for France," wrote Pasteur 
to his son ; " that was what I had wished." 

He was already keen in the pursuit of another malady 
which caused great damage, the "rouget" disease or swine 
fever, Thuillier, ever ready to start when a demonstration 
had to be made or an experiment to be attempted, had 
ascertained, in March, 1882, in a part of the Department of 
the Vienne, the existence of a microbe in the swine 
attacked with that disease. 

In order to know whether this microbe was the cause 
of the evil, the usual operations of the sovereign method 
had to be resorted to. First of all, a culture medium had to 
be found which was suitable to the micro-organism (veal 
broth was found to be very successful) ; then a drop of the 
culture had to be abstracted from the little phials where 
the microbe was developing and sown into other flasks ; 
lastly the culture liquid had to be inoculated into swine. 
Death supervened with all the symptoms of swine fever ; 
the microbe was therefore the cause of the evil. Could ^ 
be attenuated and a vaccine obtained? Being pressed to 
study that disease, and to find the remedy for it, by 
M. Maucuer, a veterinary surgeon of the Department of 
Vaucluse, living at Bollène, Pasteur started, accompanied 
by his nephew, Adrien Loir, and M. Thuillier. The three 
arrived at Bollène on September 13. 

" It is impossible to imagine more obUging kindness than 
that of those excellent Maucuers," wrote Pasteur to his 
wife the next day. " Where, in what dark corner they 
sleep, in order to give us two bedrooms, mine and another 

180 



I882-I884 

with two beds, I do not like to think. They are young, 
and have an eight-year-old son at the Avignon College, 
for whom they have obtained a half-holiday to-day in order 
that he may be presented to ' M. Pasteur.' The two men 
and I are taken care of in a manner you might envy. It is 
colder here and more rainy than in Paris. I have a fire in 
my room, that green oak-wood fire that you will remember 
we had at the Pont Gisquet. 

" I was much pleased to hear that the swine fever is far 
from being extinguished. There are sick swine every- 
where, some dying, some dead, at Bollène and in the 
country around ; the evil is disastrous this year. We saw 
som_e dead and dying yesterday afternoon. We have 
brought here a young hog who is very ill, and this morn- 
ing we shall attempt vaccination at a M. de Ballincourt's, 
who has lost all his pigs, and who hast just bought some 
more in the hope that the vaccine will be preservative. 
From morning till night we shall be able to watch the 
disease and to try to prevent it. This reminds me of the 
pébrine, with pigsties and sick pigs instead of nurseries 
full of dying silkworms. Not ten thousand, but at least 
twenty thousand swine have perished, and I am told it is 
worse still in the Ardèche." 

On the 17th, the day was taken up by the inoculation of 
some pigs on the estate of a M. de la Gardette, a few kilo- 
mètres from Bollène. In the evening, a former State Coun- 
cillor, M. de Gaillard, came at the head of a delegation to 
compliment Pasteur and invite him to a banquet. Pasteur 
declined this honour, saying he would accept it when the 
swine fever was conquered. They spoke to him of his past 
services, but he had no thought for them ; like all progress- 
seeking men, he saw but what was before him. Experi- 
ments were being carried out — he had hastened to have an 
experimental pigsty erected near M. Maucuer's house — 

181 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

and alread}^, on the 21st, he wrote to j\Tme. Pasteur, in one 
of those letters which resembled the loose pages of a 
laboratory notebook — 

" Swine fever is not nearl}^ so obscure to me now, and I 
am persuaded that with the help of time the scientific and 
practical problem will be solved. 

" Three post-mortem examinations to-day. They take a 
long time, but that seems of no account to Thuillier, with 
his cool and patient eagerness." 

Three da5's later : "I much regret not being able to tell 
you yet that I am starting back for Paris. It is quite 
impossible to abandon all these experiments which we 
have commenced ; I should have to return here at least 
once or twice. The chief thing is that things are getting 
clearer with every experiment. You know that nowadays 
a medical knowledge of disease is nothing ; it must be 
prevented beforehand. We are attempting this, and I 
think I can foresee success ; but keep this for yourself and 
our children. I embrace you all most affectionately. 

"P.S. — I have never felt better. Send me 1,000 fr. ; I 
have but 300 fr. left of the 1,600 fr. I brought. Pigs are 
expensive, and we are killing a great many." 

At last on December 3: "I am sending M. Dumas a 
note for to-morrow's meeting at the Academy. If I had 
time I would transcribe it for the laboratory and for 
René." 

" Our researches " — thus ran the report to the Academy 
— " may be summed up in the following propositions — 

" I. The swine fever, or rouget disease, is produced by a 
special microbe, easy to cultivate outside the animal's body. 
It is so tiny that it often escapes the most attentive search. 
It resembles the microbe of chicken cholera more than any 
other ; its shape is also that of a figure 8, but finer and 
less visible than that of the cholera. It differs essentially 

182 



I882-I884 

from the latter by its physiological properties; it kills 
rabbits and sheep, but has no effect on hens. 

" IL If inoculated in a state of purity into pigs, in almost 
inappreciable doses, it speedily brings the fever and death, 
with all the characteristics usual in spontaneous cases. It 
is most deadly to the white, so-called improved, race, that 
which is most sought after by pork-breeders. 

" III. Dr. Klein published in London (1878) an extensive 
work on swine fever, which he calls Pneumo-enteritis of 
Swine ; but that author is entirely mistaken as to the 
nature of the parasite. He has described as the microbe 
of the rouget a bacillus with spores, more voluminous even 
than the bacteridium of splenic fever. Dr. Klein's microbe 
is very different from the true microbe of swine fever, and 
has, besides, no relation to the etiology of that disease. 

" IV. After having satisfied ourselves by direct tests that 
the malady does not recur, we have succeeded in inoculat- 
ing it in a benignant form, after which the animal has 
proved refractory to the mortal disease. 

" V. Though we consider that further control experi- 
ments are necessary, we have already great confidence in 
this, that, dating from next spring, vaccination by the 
virulent microbe of swine fever, attenuated, will become 
the salvation of pigsties." 

Pasteur ended thus his letter of December 3 : " We shall 
start to-morrow, Monday. Adrien Loir and I shall sleep 
at Lyons. Thuillier will go straight to Paris, to take care 
of ten little pigs which we have bought, and which he will 
take with him. In this way they will not be kept waiting 
at stations. Pigs, young and old, are very sensitive to 
cold ; they will be wrapped up in straw. They are very 
young and quite charming ; one cannot help getting fond 
of them." 

The next day Pasteur wrote to his son: "Everything 

183 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

has gone off well, and we much hope, Thuillier and I, that 
preventive vaccination of this evil can be established in a 
practical fashion. It would be a great boon in pork-breed- 
ing countries, where terrible ravages are made by the 
rouget (so called because the animals die covered with red 
or purple blotches, already developed during the fever 
which precedes death). In the United States, over a million 
swine died of this disease in 1879 i it rages in England and 
in Germany. This year, it has desolated the Cotes-du-Nord, 
the Poitou, and the departments of the Rhone Valley. I 
sent to M. Dumas yesterday a résumé in a few lines of our 
results, to be read at to-day's meeting." 

Pasteur, once more in Paris, returned eagerly to his 
studies on divers virus and on hydrophobia. If he was 
told that he over- worked himself, he replied : "It would 
seem to me that I was committing a theft if I were to let 
one day go by without doing some work." But he was 
again disturbed in the work he enjoyed by the contradic- 
tions of his opponents. 

Koch's reply arrived soon after the Bollène episode. The 
German scientist had modified his views to a certain extent ; 
instead of denying the attenuation of virus as in 1881, he 
now proclaimed it as a discovery of the first order. But he 
did not believe much, he said, in the practical results of 
the vaccination of charbon. 

Pasteur put forward in response, a report from the 
veterinary surgeon Boutet to the Chartres Veterinary and 
Agricultural School, made in the preceding October. The 
sheep vaccinated in Eure et Loir during the last year 
formed a total of 79,392. Instead of a mortality which had 
been more than nine per cent, on the average in the last ten 
years, the mortality had only been 518 sheep, much less 
than one per cent ; 5,700 sheep had therefore been preserved 
by vaccination. Amongst cattle 4,562 animals had been 

184 



I 882 -I 884 

vaccinated ; out of a similar number 300 usually died every 
year. Since vaccination, only eleven cows had died. 

" Such results appear to us convincing," v^rote M. Boutet. 
"If our cultivators of the Beauce understand their ovs^n 
interest, splenic fever and malignant pustules will soon 
remain a mere memory, for charbon diseases never are 
spontaneous, and, by preventing the death of their cattle by 
vaccination, they will destroy all possibility of propagation 
of that terrible disease, which will in consequence entirely 
disappear." 

Koch continued to smile at the discovery on the earth- 
worms' action in the etiology of anthrax. "You are 
mistaken, Sir," replied Pasteur. " You are again preparing 
for yourself a vexing change of opinion." And he con- 
cluded as follows : " However violent your attacks, Sir, 
they will not hinder the success of the method of attenuated 
virus. I am confidently awaiting the consequences which 
it holds in reserve to help humanity in its struggle against 
the diseases which assault it." 

This debate was hardly concluded when new polemics 
arose at the Académie de Médecine. A new treatment of 
typhoid fever was under discussion. 

In 1870, M. Glénard, a Lyons medical student, who had 
enlisted, was, with many others, taken to Stettin as prisoner 
of war. A German physician, Dr. Brand, moved with com- 
passion by the sufferings of the vanquished French soldiers, 
showed them great kindness and devotion. The French 
student attached himself to him, helped him with his work, 
and saw him treat typhoid fever with success by baths at 
20° C. Brand prided himself on this cold bath treatment, 
which produced numerous cures. M. Glénard, on his return, 
to Lyons, remembering with confidence this method of 
which he had seen the excellent results, persuaded the 
physician of the Croix Rousse hospital, where he resided, to 

185 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

attempt the same treatment. This was done for ten years, 
and nearly all the Lyons practitioners became convinced 
that Brand's method was efficacious. M. Glénard came to 
Paris and read to the Academy of Medicine a paper on the 
cold-bath treatment of typhoid fever. The Academy 
appointed a commission, composed of civil and military 
physicians, and the discussion was opened. 

The oratorical display which had struck Pasteur when 
he first came to the Académie de Médecine was much to 
the fore on that occasion; the merely curious hearers of 
that discussion had an opportunity of enjoying medical 
eloquence, besides acquiring information on the new treat- 
ment of typhoid fever. There were some vehement 
denunciations of the microbe which was suspected in 
typhoid fever. "You aim at the microbe and you bring 
down the patient ! " exclaimed one of the orators, who 
added, amidst great applause, that it was time " to offer an 
impassable barrier to such adventurous boldness, and thus 
to preserve patients from the unforeseen dangers of that 
therapeutic whirlwind ! " 

Another orator took up a lighter tone : " I do not much 
believe in that invasion of parasites which threatens us like 
an eleventh plague of Egypt," said M. Peter. And attack- 
ing the scientists who meddled with medicine, chymiasters 
as he called them, " They have come to this," he said, 
" that in typhoid fevers they only see the typhoid fever, 
in typhoid fever, fever only, and in fever, increased heat. 
They have thus reached that luminous idea that heat must 
be fought by cold. This organism is on fire, let us pour 
water over it; it is a fireman's doctrine." 

Vulpian, whose grave mind was not unlike Pasteur's, 
intervened, and said that new attempts should not be dis- 
couraged by sneers. Without pronouncing on the merits 
of the cold-bath method, which he had not tried, he looked 

1 86 



I882-I884 

beyond this discussion, indicating the road which theoreti- 
cally seemed to him to lead to a curative treatment. The 
first thing was to discover the agent which causes typhoid 
fever, and then, when that was known, attempt to destroy 
or paralyse it in the tissues of typhoid patients, or else to 
find drugs capable either of preventing the aggressions of 
that agent or of annihilating the effects of that aggression, 
" to produce, relatively to typhoid fever, the effect deter- 
mined by salicylate of soda in acute rheumatism of the 
articulations." 

Beyond the restricted audience, allowed a few seats in 
the Académie de Médecine, the general public itself was 
taking an interest in this prolonged debate. The very 
high death rate in the army due to typhoid fever was the 
cause of this eager attention. Whilst the German army, 
where Brand's method was employed, hardly lost five men 
out of a thousand, the French army lost more than ten per 
thousand. 

Whilst military service was not compulsory, epidemics 
in barracks were looked upon with more or less compas- 
sionate attention. But the thought that typhoid fever had 
been more destructive within the last ten years than the 
most sanguinary battle, now awakened all minds and 
hearts. Is then personal fear necessary to awaken human 
compassion ? 

Bouley, who was more given to propagating new 
doctrines than to lingering on such philosophical problems, 
thought it was time to introduce into the debate certain 
ideas on the great problems tackled by medicine since the 
discovery of what might be called a fourth kingdom in 
nature, that of microbia. In a statement read at the 
Académie de Médecine, he formulated in broad lines the 
rôle of the infinitesimally small and their activity in pro- 
ducing the phenomena of fermentations and diseases. He 

187 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

showed by the parallel works of Pasteur on the one hand, 
and M. Chauveau on the other, that contagion is the 
function of a living element. "It is especially," said 
Bouley, " on the question of the prophylaxis of virulent 
diseases that the microbian doctrine has given the most 
marvellous results. To seize upon the most deadly virus, 
to submit them to a methodical culture, to cause modifying 
agents to act upon them in a measured proportion, and 
thus to succeed in attenuating them in divers degrees, so as 
to utilize their strength, reduced but still efficacious, in 
transmitting a benignant malady by means of which 
immunity is acquired against the deadly disease : what a 
beautiful dream ! ! And M. Pasteur has made that dream 
into a reality ! ! ! . . . " 

The debate widened, typhoid fever became a mere inci- 
dent. The pathogenic action of the infinitesimally small 
entered into the discussion ; traditional medicine faced 
microbian medicine. M. Peter rushed once more to the 
front rank for the fight. He declared that he did not apply 
the term chymiaster to Pasteur ; he recognized that it was 
but " fair to proclaim that we owe to M. Pasteur's researches 
the most useful practical applications in surgery and in 
obstetrics." But considering that medicine might claim 
more independence, he repeated that the discovery of the 
material elements of virulent diseases did not throw so 
much light as had been said, either on pathological 
anatomy, on the evolution, on the treatment or especially 
on the prophylaxis of virulent diseases. " Those are but 
natural history curiosities," he added, " interesting no doubt, 
but of very little profit to medicine, and not worth either 
the time given to them or the noise made about them. 
After so many laborious researches, nothing will be 
changed in medicine, there will only be a few more 
microbes." 

i88 



I 882- I 884 

A newspaper having repeated this last sentence, a pro- 
fessor of the Faculty of Medicine, M. Cornil, simply 
recalled how, at the time when the acarus of itch had been 
discovered, many partisans of old doctrines had probably 
exclaimed, " What is your acarus to me ? Will it teach me 
more than I know already ?" " But,' ' added M. Cornil, " the 
physician who had understood the value of that discovery 
no longer inflicted internal medication upon his patients to 
cure them of what seemed an inveterate disease, but merely 
cured them by means of a brush and a little ointment." 

M. Peter, continuing his violent speech, quoted certain 
vaccination failures, and incompletely reported experiments, 
saying, grandly: "M. Pasteur's excuse is that he is a 
chemist, who has tried, out of a wish to be useful, to reform 
medicine, to which he is a complete stranger. . . . 

" In the struggle I have undertaken the present discussion 
is but a skirmish ; but, to judge from the reinforcements 
which are coming to me, the mêlée may become general, 
and victory will remain, I hope, to the larger battalions, 
that is to say, to the ' old medicine.' " 

Bouley, amazed that M. Peter should thus scout the notion 
of microbia introduced into pathology, valiantly fought this 
" skirmish " alone. He recalled the discussions à propos of 
tuberculosis, so obscure until a new and vivifying notion 
came to simplify the solution of the problem. " And you 
reject that solution ! You say, ' What does it matter to me ? ' 
. . . What! M. Koch, of Berlin — who with such dis- 
coveries as he has made might well abstain from envy — 
M. Koch points out to you the presence of bacteria in 
tubercles, and that seems to you of no importance ? But 
that microbe gives you the explanation of those contagious 
properties of tuberculosis so well demonstrated by M. 
Villemin, for it is the instrument of virulence itself which 
is put under your eyes." 

189 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Bouley then wenl on to refute the arguments of M. Peter, 
epitomized the history of the discovery of the attenuation of 
virus, and all that this method of cultures possible in an 
extra-organic medium might suggest that was hopeful for 
a vaccine of cholera and of yellow fever, which might be 
discovered one day and protect humanity against those 
terrible scourges. He concluded thus — " Let M. Peter do 
what I have done ; let him study M. Pasteur, and penetrate 
thoroughly into all that is admirable, through the absolute 
certainty of the results, in the long series of researches 
which have led him from the discovery of ferments to that 
of the nature of virus; and then I can assure him that 
instead of decrying this great glory of France, of whom 
we must all be proud, he too will feel himself carried away 
by enthusiasm and will bow with admiration and respect 
before the chemist, who, though not a physician, illumines 
medicine and dispels, in the light of his experiments, a 
darkness which had hitherto remained impenetrable." 

A year before this (Peter had not failed to report the 
fact) an experiment of anthrax vaccination had completely 
failed at the Turin Veterinary School. All the sheep, 
vaccinated and non- vaccinated, had succumbed subsequently 
to the inoculation of the blood of a sheep which had died of 
charbon. 

This took place in March, 1882. As soon as Pasteur 
heard of this extraordinary fiasco, which seemed the 
counterpart of the Pouilly-le-Fort experiment, he wrote on 
April 16 to the director of the Turin Veterinary School, 
asking on what day the sheep had died the blood of which 
had been used for the virulent inoculation. 

The director answered simply that the sheep had died on 
the morning of March 22, and that its blood had been 
inoculated during the course of the following day. " There 
has been," said Pasteur, "a grave scientific mistake; 

190 



I882-I884 

the blood inoculated was septic as well as full of char- 
bon." 

Though the director of the Turin Veterinary School 
affirmed that the blood had been carefully examined and 
that it was in no wise septic, Pasteur looked back on his 
1877 experiments on anthrax and septicsemia, and main- 
tained before the Paris Central Veterinary Society on 
June 8, 1882, that the Turin School had done wrong in 
using the blood of an animal at least twenty-four hours 
after its death, for the blood must have been septic besides 
containing anthrax. The six professors of the Turin School 
protested unanimously against such an interpretation. " We 
hold it marvellous," they wrote ironically, " that your 
Illustrious Lordship should have recognized so surely, from 
Paris, the disease which made such havoc amongst the 
animals vaccinated and non-vaccinated and inoculated 
with blood containing anthrax in our school on March 23, 
1882. 

"It does not seem to us possible that a scientist should 
affirm the existence of septicaemia in an animal he has not 
even seen. ..." 

The quarrel with the Turin School had now lasted a 
year. On April 9, 1883, Pasteur appealed to the Academy 
of Science to judge of the Turin incident and to put an end 
to this agitation, which threatened to cover truth with a 
veil. He read out the letter he had just addressed to the 
Turin professors. 

'* Gentlemen, a dispute having arisen between you and 
myself respecting the interpretation to be given to the 
absolute failure of your control experiment of March 23, 
1882, I have the honour to inform you that, if you will 
accept the suggestion, I will go to Turin any day you may 
choose ; you shall inoculate in my presence some virulent 
charbon into any number of sheep you like. The exact 

191 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

moment of death in each case shall be determined, and I 
will demonstrate to you that in every case the blood of the 
corpse containing only charbon at the first will also be 
septic on the next day. It will thus be established with 
absolute certainty that the assertion formulated by me on 
June 8, 1882, against which j^ou have protested on two 
occasions, arises, not as you say, rom an arbitrary opinion, 
but from an immovable scientific principle ; and that I have 
legitimately affirmed from Paris, the presence of septicaemia 
without it being in the least necessary that I should have 
seen the corpse of the sheep you utilized for your experi- 
ments. 

" Minutes of the facts as they are produced shall be 
drawn up day by day, and signed by the professors of the 
Turin Veterinary School and by the other persons, physi- 
cians or veterinary surgeons who may have been present 
at the experiments ; these minutes will then be published 
both at the Academies of Turin and of Paris." 

Pasteur contented himself with reading this letter to the 
Academy of Sciences. For months he had not attended the 
Academy of Medicine ; he was tired of incessant and barren 
struggles ; he often used to come away from the discussions 
worn out and excited. He would say to Messrs. Chamber- 
land and Roux, who waited for him after the meetings, 
"How is it that certain doctors do not understand the 
range, the value, of our experiments ? How is it that they 
do not foresee the great future of all these studies ? " 

The day after the Académie des Sciences meeting, 
judging that his letter to Turin sufficiently closed the 
incident, Pasteur started for Arbois. He wanted to set 
up a laboratory adjoining his house. Where the father 
had worked with his hands, the son would work at his 
great light-emitting studies. 

On April 3 a letter from M. Peter had been read at the 

192 



I882-I884 

Academy of Medicine, declaring that he did not give up the 
struggle and that nothing would be lost by waiting. 

At the following sitting, another physician, M. Fauvel, 
while declaring himself an admirer of Pasteur's work and 
full of respect for his person, thought it well not to accept 
blindly all the inductions into which Pasteur might find him- 
self drawn, and to oppose those which were contradictory to 
acquired facts. After M. Fauvel, M. Peter violently 
attacked what he called " microbicidal drugs which may 
become homicidal," he said. When reading the account of 
this meeting, Pasteur had an impulse of anger. His 
resolutions not to return to the Academy of Medicine gave 
way before the desire not to leave Bouley alone to lead the 
defensive campaign ; he started for Paris. 

As his family was then at Arbois, and the doors of his 
flat at the Ecole Normale closed, the simplest thing for 
Pasteur was to go to the Hôtel du Louvre, accompanied by a 
member of his family. The next morning he carefully 
prepared his speech, and, at three o'clock in the afternoon, 
he entered the Academy of Medicine. The President, M. 
Hardy, welcomed him in these words — " Allow me, before 
you begin to speak, to tell you that it is with great pleasure 
that we see you once again among us, and that the 
Academy hopes that, now that you have once more found 
your way to its precincts, you will not forget it again." 

After isolating and rectifying the points of discussion, 
Pasteur advised M. Peter to make a more searching inquiry 
into the subject of anthraxVaccination, and to trust to Time, 
the only sovereign judge^ Should not the recollection of 
the violent hostility encountered at first by Jenner put 
people on their guard against hasty judgments? There 
was not one of the doctors present who could not remember 
what had been written at one time against vaccination ! ! ! 

He went on to oppose the false idea that each science 

VOL. II. 193 o 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

should restrict itself within its own limitations. "What do 
I, a physician, says M. Peter, want with the minds of the 
chemist, the physicist and the physiologist ? 

" On hearing him speak with so much disdain of the 
chemists and physiologists who touch upon questions of 
disease, you might verily think that he is speaking in the 
name of a science whose principles are founded on a rock ! 
Does he want proofs of the slow progress of therapeutics ? 
It is now six months since, in this assembly of the greatest 
medical men, the question was discussed whether it is 
better to treat typhoid fever with cold lotions or with 
quinine, with alcohol or salicylic acid, or even not to treat 
it at all. 

" And, when we are perhaps on the eve of solving the 
question of the etiology of that disease by a microbe, M. 
Peter commits the medical blasphemy of saying, ' What do 
your microbes matter to me ? It will only be one microbe 
the more ! '" 

Amazed that sarcasm should be levelled against new 
studies which opened such wide horizons, he denounced the 
flippancy with which a professor of the Faculty of Medicine 
allowed himself to speak of vaccinations by attenuated 
virus. 

He ended by rejoicing once more that this great dis- 
covery should have been a French one. 

Pasteur went back to Arbois for a few days. On his 
return to Paris, he was beginning some new experiments, 
when he received a long letter from the Turin professors. 
Instead of accepting his offer, they enumerated their experi- 
ments, asked some questions in an offended and ironical 
manner, and concluded by praising an Italian national 
vaccine, which produced absolute immunity in the future — 
when it did not kill. 

194 



I882-I884 

"They cannot get out of this dilemma," said Pasteur; 
"either they knew my 1877 notes, unravelling the con- 
tradictory statements of Davaine, Jaillard and Leplat, and 
Paul Bert, or they did not know them. If they did not 
know them on March 22, 1882, there is nothing more to 
say ; they were not guilty in acting as they did, but they 
should have owned it freely. If they did know them, why 
ever did they inoculate blood taken from a sheep twenty- 
four hours after its death ? They say that this blood was not 
septic ; but how do they know ? They have done nothing 
to find out. They should have inoculated some guinea- 
pigs, by choice, and then tried some cultures in a vacuum 
to compare them with cultures in contact with air. Why 
will they not receive me ? A meeting between truth-seek- 
ing men would be the most natural thing in the world ! " 

Still hoping to persuade his adversaries to meet him at 
Turin and be convinced, Pasteur wrote to them. " Paris ^ 
May 9, 1883. Gentlemen — Your letter of April 30 surprises 
me very much. What is in question between you and me ? 
That I should go to Turin, if you will allow me, to de- 
monstrate that sheep, dead of charbon, as numerous as you 
like, will, for a few hours after their death, be exclusively 
infected with anthrax, and that the day after their death 
they will present both anthrax and septic infection ; and 
that therefore, when, on March 23, 1882, wishing to 
inoculate blood infected with anthrax only into sheep 
vaccinated and non-vaccinated, you took blood from a 
carcase twenty-four hours after death, you committed a 
grave scientific mistake. 

" Instead of answering yes or no, instead of saying to me 
* Come to Turin,' or ' Do not come,' you ask me in a 
manuscript letter of seventeen pages, to send you from 
Paris, in writing, preliminary explanations of all that I 
should have to demonstrate in Turin. 

195 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

"Really, what is the good? Would not that lead to 
endless discussions ? It is because of the uselessness of a 
written controversy that I have placed myself at your 
disposal. 

" I have once more the honour of asking you to inform 
me whether you accept the proposal made to you on April 9, 
that I should go to Turin to place before your eyes the 
proofs of the facts I have just mentioned. 

" PS. — In order not to complicate the debate, I do not 
dwell upon the many erroneous quotations and statements 
contained in your letter." 

M. Roux began to prepare an interesting curriculum of 
experiments to be carried out at Turin. But the Turin 
professors wrote a disagreeable letter, published a little 
pamphlet entitled. Of the Scientific Dogmatism of the 
Illustrious Professor Pasteur ^ and things remained as they 
were. 

All these discussions, renewed on so many divers points, 
were not altogether a waste of time ; some of them bore 
fruitful results by causing most decisive proofs to be sought 
for. It has also made the path of Pasteur's followers wider 
and smoother that he himself should have borne the brunt 
of the first opposition. 

In the meanwhile, testimonials of gratitude continued to 
pour in from the agricultors and veterinary surgeons who 
had seen the results of two years' practice of the vaccination 
against anthrax. 

In the year 1882, 613,740 sheep and 83,946 oxen had 
been vaccinated. The Department of the Cantal which had 
before lost about 3,000,000 fr. every year, desired in June, 
1883, on the occasion of an agricultural show, to give 
M. Pasteur a special acknowledgement of their gratitude. 
It consisted of a cup of silver-plated bronze, ornamented 
with a group of cattle. Behind the group — imitating in 

196 



I882-I884 

this the town of Aubenas, who had made a microscope 
figure as an attribute of honour — was represented, in small 
proportions, an instrument which found itself for the first 
time raised to such an exalted position, the little syringe 
used for inoculations. 

Pasteur was much pressed to come himself and receive 
this offering from a land which would henceforth owe its 
fortune to him. He allowed himself to be persuaded, and 
arrived, accompanied as usual by his family. 

The Mayor, surrounded by the municipal councillors, 
greeted him in these words: "Our town of Aurillac 
is very small, and you will not find here the brilliant 
population which inhabits great cities ; but you will find 
minds capable of understanding the scientific and humani- 
tarian mission which you have so generously undertaken. 
You will also find hearts capable of appreciating your 
benefits and of preserving the memory of them ; your name 
has been on all our lips for a long time." 

Pasteur, visiting that local exhibition, did not resemble 
the official personages who listen wearily to the details 
given them by a staff of functionaries. He thought but 
of acquiring knowledge, going straight to this or that 
exhibitor and questioning him, not with perfunctory 
politeness, but with a real desire for practical information ; 
no detail seemed to him insignificant. " Nothing should be 
neglected," he said ; " and a remark from a rough labourer 
who does well what he has to do is infinitely precious." 

After visiting the products and agricultural implements, 
Pasteur was met in the street by a peasant who stopped and 
waved his large hat, shouting, " Long live Pasteur ! " . . . 
" You have saved my cattle," continued the man, coming 
up to shake hands with him. 

Physicians in their turn desired to celebrate and to honour 
him who, though not a physician, had rendered such 

197 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

service to medicine. Thirty-two of them assembled to 
drink his health. The head physician of the Aurillac 
Hospital, Dr. Fleys, said in proposing the toast: "What 
the mechanism of the heavens owes to Newton, chemistry 
to Lavoisier, geology to Cuvier, general anatomy to Bichat, 
physiology to Claude Bernard, pathology and hygiene will 
owe to Pasteur. Unite with me, dear colleagues, and let 
us drink to the fame of the illustrious Pasteur, the pre- 
cursor of the medicine of the future, a benefactor to 
humanity." 

This glorious title was now associated with his name. 
In the first rank of his enthusiastic admirers came the 
scientists, who, from the point of view of pure science, 
admired the achievements, within those thirty-five years, 
of that great man whose perseverance equalled his pene- 
tration. Then came the manufacturers, the sericicultors, 
and the agricultors, who owed their fortune to him who 
had placed every process he discovered into the public 
domain. Finally, France could quote the words of the 
English physiologist, Huxley, in a public lecture at the 
London Royal Society : " Pasteur's discoveries alone would 
suffice to cover the war indemnity of five milliards paid by 
France to Germany in 1870." 

To that capital was added the inestimable price of human 
lives saved. Since the antiseptic method had been adopted 
in surgical operations, the mortality had fallen from 
50 per 100 to 5 per 100. 

In the lying-in hospitals, more than decimated formerly, 
(for the statistics had shown a death-rate of not only 100 
but 200 per 1,000), the number of fatalities was now 
reduced to 3 per t,ooo and soon afterwards fell to i per 
1,000. And, in consequence of the principles established 
by Pasteur, hygiene was growing, developing, and at last 

198 



I 882-1884 

taking its proper place in the public view. So much 
progress accomplished had brought Pasteur a daily growing 
acknowledgement of gratitude, his country was more than 
proud of him. His powerful mind, allied with his very 
tender heart, had brought to French glory an aureole of 
charity. 

The Government of the Republic remembered that 
England had voted two national rewards to Jenner, one 
in 1802 and one in 1807, the first of £10,000, and the 
second of £20,000. It was at the time of that deliberation 
that Pitt, the great orator, exclaimed, " Vote, gentlemen, 
your gratitude will never reach the amount of the service 
rendered." 

The French ministry proposed to augment the 12,000 fr. 
pension accorded to Pasteur in 1874 as a national recom- 
pense, and to make it 25,000 fr., to revert first to Pasteur's 
widow, and then to his children. A Commission was 
formed and Paul Bert again chosen to draw up the 
report. 

On several occasions at the meetings of the commission 
one of its members, Benjamin Raspail, exalted the parasitic 
theory propounded in 1843 by his own father. His filial 
pleading went so far as to accuse Pasteur of plagiarism. 
Paul Bert, whilst recognizing the share attributed by F. V. 
Raspail to microscopic beings, recalled the fact that his 
attempt in favour of epidemic and contagious diseases 
had not been adopted by scientists. " No doubt," he said, 
" the parasitic origin of the itch was now definitely 
accepted, thanks in a great measure to the efforts of Raspail ; 
but generalizations were considered as out of propor- 
tion to the fact they were supposed to rest on. It 
seemed excessive to conclude from the existence of the 
acarus of itch, visible to the naked eye or with the 
weakest magnifying glass, the presence of microscopic 

199 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

parasites in the humours of virulent diseases. . . . Such 
hypotheses can be considered but as a sort of intuition." 

" Hypotheses," said Pasteur, "come into our laboratories 
in armfuls ; they fill our registers with projected ex- 
periments, they stimulate us to research — and that is 
all." One thing only counted for him : experimental veri- 
fication. 

Paul Bert, in his very complete report, quoted Huxley's 
words to the Royal Society and Pitt's words to the House 
of Commons. He stated that since the first Bill had been 
voted, a new series of discoveries, no less marvellous from 
a theoretical point of view and yet more important from a 
practical point of view, had come to strike the world of 
Science with astonishment and admiration." Recapitu- 
lating Pasteur's works, he said — 

" They may be classed in three series, constituting three 
great discoveries. 

" The first one may be formulated thus : Each ferment atioit 
is produced by the development of a special 7nicrobe. 

" The second one may be given this formula : Each in- 
fectious disease (those at least that M. Pasteur and his 
immediate followers have studied) is produced by the 
developmefît within the organisjn of a special microbe. 

" The third one may be expressed in this waj^ : The 
inicrobe of an infectious disease^ ctdtivated under certaiii 
detrimental co7iditio7ts, is atteituated in its pathogenic 
activity ; from a virus it has become a vaccine. ^^ 

"As a practical consequence of the first discovery, 
M. Pasteur has given rules for the manufacture of beer 
and of vinegar, and shown how beer and wine may 
be preserved against secondary fermentations which 
would turn them sour, bitter, or slimy, and which render 
difficult their transport and even their preservation on 
the spot. 

200 



I882-I884 

"As a practical consequence of the second discovery, 
M. Pasteur has given rules to be followed to preserve cattle 
from splenic fever contamination, and silkworms from the 
diseases which decimated them. Surgeons, on the other 
hand, have succeeded, by means of the guidance it afforded, 
in effecting almost completely the disappearance of 
erysipelas and of the purulent infections which formerly 
brought about the death of so many patients after 
operations. 

" As a practical consequence of the third discovery, 
M. Pasteur has given rules for, and indeed has effected, the 
preservation of horses, oxen, and sheep from the anthrax 
disease which every year kills in France about 20,000,000 
francs' worth. Swine will also be preserved from the 
rouget disease which decimates them, and poultry from 
the cholera which makes such terrible havoc among them. 
Everything leads us to hope that rabies will also soon be 
conquered." When Paul Bert was congratulated on his 
report, he said, " Admiration is such a good, wholesome 
thing!!" 

The Bill was voted by the Chamber, and a fortnight later 
by the Senate, unanimously. Pasteur heard the first news 
through the newspapers, for he had just gone to the Jura. 
On July 14, he left Arbois for Dole, where he had pro- 
mised to be present at a double ceremony. 

On that national holiday, a statue of Peace was to be in- 
augurated, and a memorial plate placed on the house where 
Pasteur was born ; truly a harmonious association of ideas. 
The prefect of the Jura evidently felt it when, while un- 
veiling the statue in the presence of Pasteur, he said : 
" This is Peace, who has inspired Genius and the great 
services it has rendered." The official procession, followed 
by popular acclamation, went on to the narrow Rue des 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Tanneurs. When Pasteur, who had not seen his native 
place since his childhood, found himself before that tannery, 
in the low humble rooms of which his father and mother 
had lived, he felt himself the prey to a strong emotion. 

The mayor quoted these words from the resolutions of 
the Municipal Council: "M. Pasteur is a benefactor of 
Humanity, one of the great men of France ; he will remain 
for all Dôlois and in particular those who, like him, have 
risen from the ranks of the people, an object of respect as 
well as an example to follow ; we consider that it is our 
duty to perpetuate his name in our town." 

The Director of Fine Arts, M. Kaempfen, representing 
the Government at the ceremony, pronounced these simple 
words : " In the name of the Government of the Republic, 
I salute the inscription which commemorates the fact that 
in this little house, in this little street, was born, on 
December 27, 1822, he who was to become one of the 
greatest scientists of this century so great in science, and 
who has, by his admirable labours, increased the glory of 
France and deserved well of the whole of humanity." 

The feelings in Pasteur's heart burst forth in these 
terms: " Gentlemen, I am profoundly moved by the honour 
done to me by the town of Dole; but allow me, while 
expressing my gratitude, to protest against this excess of 
praise. By according to me an homage rendered usually 
but to the illustrious dead, you anticipate too much the 
judgment of posterity. Will it ratify your decision? and 
should not you, Mr. Mayor, have prudently warned the Muni- 
cipal Council against such a hasty resolution ? 

"But after protesting, gentlemen, against the brilliant 
testimony of an admiration which is more than I deserve, 
let me tell you that I am touched, moved to the bottom of 
my soul. Your sympathy has joined on that memorial 
plate the two great things which have been the passion and 

202 



I 882- I 884 ' 

the delight of my life : the love of Science and the cult of 
the home. 

"Oh! my father, my mother, dear departed ones, who 
lived so humbly in this little house, it is to you that I owe 
everything. Thy enthusiasm, my brave-hearted mother, 
thou hast instilled it into me. If I have always associated 
the greatness of Science with the greatness of France, it 
is because I was impregnated with the feelings that thou 
hadst inspired. And thou, dearest father, whose life was 
as hard as thy hard trade, thou hast shown to me what 
patience and protracted effort can accomplish. It is to thee 
that I owe perseverance in daily work. Not only hadst 
thou the qualities which go to make a useful life, but also 
admiration for great men and great things. To look 
upwards, learn to the utmost, to seek to rise ever higher, 
such was thy teaching. I can see thee now, after a hard 
day's work, reading in the evening some story of the battles 
in the glorious epoch of which thou wast a witness. Whilst 
teaching me to read, thy care was that I should learn the 
greatness of France. 

" Be ye blessed, my dear parents, for what ye have been, 
and may the homage done to-day to your little house be 
yours ! 

" I thank you, gentlemen, for the opportunity of saying 
aloud what I have thought for sixty years. I thank you 
for this fête and for your welcome, and I thank the town of 
Dole, which loses sight of none of her children, and which 
has kept such a remembrance of me." 

" Nothing is more exquisite," wrote Bouley to Pasteur, 
" than those feelings of a noble heart, giving credit to the 
parents' influence for all the glory with which their son 
has covered their name. All your friends recognized you, 
and you appeared under quite a new light to those who 
may have misjudged your heart by knowing of you only 

203 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

the somewhat bitter words of some of your Academy 
speeches, when the love of truth has sometimes made you 
forgetful of gentleness." 

It might have seemed that after so much homage, 
especially when offered in such a delicate way as on 
this last occasion, Pasteur had indeed reached a pinnacle of 
fame. His ambition however was not satisfied. Was it 
then boundless, in spite of the modesty which drew all 
hearts towards him ? What more did he wish ? Two great 
things : to complete his studies on hydrophobia and to 
establish the position of his collaborators — whose name he 
ever associated with his work — as his acknowledged 
successors. 

A few cases of cholera had occurred at Damietta in the 
month of June. The English declared that it was but 
endemic cholera, and opposed the quarantines. They had 
with them the majority of the Alexandria Sanitary Council, 
and could easily prevent sanitary measures from being 
taken. If the English, voluntarily closing their eyes to the 
dangers of the epidemic, had wished to furnish a new proof 
of the importation of cholera, they could not have succeeded 
better. The cholera spread, and by July 14 it had reached 
Cairo. Between the 14th and the 22nd there were five 
hundred deaths per day. 

Alexandria was threatened, Pasteur, before leaving 
Paris for Arbois, submitted to the Consulting Committee 
of Public Hygiene the idea of a French Scientific Mission 
to Alexandria. " Since the last epidemic in 1865," he said, 
" science has made great progress on the subject of trans- 
missible diseases. Ever}^ one of those diseases which has 
been subjected to a thorough study has been found by 
biologists to be produced by a microscopic being developing 
within the body of man or of animals, and causing therein 

204 



I882-I884 

ravages which are generally mortal. All the symptoms of 
the disease, all the causes of death depend directly upon 
the physiological properties of the microbe. . . . What 
is wanted at this moment to satisfy the preoccupations of 
science is to inquire into the primary cause of the scourge. 
Now the present state of knowledge demands that atten- 
tion should be drawn to the possible existence within the 
blood, or within some organ, of a micro-organism whose 
nature and properties would account in all probability for 
all the peculiarities of cholera, both as to the morbid 
symptoms and the mode of its propagation. The proved 
existence of such a microbe would soon take precedence 
over the whole question of the measures to be taken to 
arrest the evil in its course, and might perhaps suggest 
new methods of treatment." 

Not only did the Committee of Hygiene approve of 
Pasteur's project, but they asked him to choose some young 
men whose knowledge would be equalled by their devotion. 
Pasteur only had to look around him. When, on his return 
to the laboratory, he mentioned what had taken place at 
the Committee of Hygiene, M. Roux immediately offered to 
start. A professor at the Faculty of Medicine who had 
some hospital practice, M. Straus, and a professor at the 
Alfort Veterinary School, M. Nocard, both of whom had 
been authorised to work in the laboratory, asked permission 
to accompany M. Roux. Thuillier had the same desire, 
but asked for twenty-four hours to think over it. 

The thought of his father and mother, who had made a 
great many sacrifices for his education, and whose only joy 
was to receive him at Amiens, where they lived, during his 
short holidays, made him hesitate. But the thought of duty 
overcame his regrets ; he put his papers and notes in order 
and went to see his dear ones again. He told his father of 
his intention, but his mother did not know of it. At the 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

time when the papers spoke of a French commission to 
study cholera, his elder sister, who loved him with an 
almost motherly tenderness, said to him suddenly, "You 
are not going to Egypt, Louis? swear that you are not! " 
" I am not going to swear anything," he answered, 
with absolute calm; adding that he might some time 
go to Russia to proceed to some vaccination of anthrax, 
as he had done at Buda-Pesth in 1881. When he left 
Amiens, nothing in his farewells revealed his deep 
emotion ; it was only from Marseilles that he wrote the 
truth. 

Administrative difificulties retarded the departure of the 
Commission, which only reached Egypt on August 15. 
Dr. Koch had also come to study cholera. The head 
physician of the European hospital, Dr, Ardouin, placed 
his wards at the entire disposal of the French savants. In 
a certain number of cases, it was possible to proceed to 
post-mortem examinations immediately after death, before 
putrefaction had begun. It was a great thing from the 
point of view of the search after a pathogenic micro- 
organism as well as from the anatomo-pathological point of 
view. 

The contents of the intestines and the characteristic 
stools of the cholera patients offered a great variety of 
micro-organisms. But which was really the cause of 
cholera ? The most varied modes of culture were attempted 
in vain. The same negative results followed inoculations 
into divers animal species, cats, dogs, swine, monkeys, 
pigeons, rabbits, guinea-pigs, etc., made with the blood of 
cholerics or with the contents of their bowels. Experiments 
were made with twenty-four corpses. The epidemic ceased 
unexpectedly. Not to waste time, while waiting for a 
reappearance of the disease, the French Commission took 
up some researches on cattle plague. Suddenly a telegram 

206 



I882-I884 

from M. Roux informed Pasteur that Thuillier had suc- 
cumbed to an attack of cholera. 

" I have just heard the news of a great misfortune," 
wrote Pasteur to J. B. Dumas on September 19 ; " M. 
Thuillier died yesterday at Alexandria of cholera. I have 
telegraphed to the Mayor of Amiens asking him to break 
the news to the family. 

" Science loses in Thuillier a courageous representative 
with a great future before him. I lose a much-loved and 
devoted pupil ; my laboratory one of its principal supports. 

'' I can only console myself for this death by thinking of 
our beloved country and all he has done for it." 

Thuillier was only twenty-six. How had this happened ? 
Had he neglected any of the precautions which Pasteur had 
written down before the departure of the Commission, and 
which were so minute as to be thought exaggerated ? 

Pasteur remained silent all day, absolutely overcome. 
The head of the laboratory, M. Chamberland, divining his 
master's grief, came to Arbois. They exchanged their 
sorrowful thoughts, and Pasteur fell back into his sad 
broodings. 

A few days later, a letter from M. Roux related the sad 
story: ^^ Alexandria^ September 21. Sir and dear master — 
Having just heard that an Italian ship is going to start, I 
am writing a few lines without waiting for the French 
mail. The telegraph has told you of the terrible misfortune 
which has befallen us." 

M. Roux then proceeded to relate in detail the symptoms 
presented by the unfortunate young man, who, after going 
to bed at ten o'clock, apparently in perfect health, had sud- 
denly been taken ill about three o'clock in the morning of 
Saturday, September 15. At eight o'clock, all the horrible 
symptoms of the most violent form of cholera were apparent, 
and his friends gave him up for lost. They continued their 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

desperate endeavours however, assisted by the whole staft 
of French and Italian doctors. 

" By dint of all our strength, all our energy, we pro- 
tracted the struggle until seven o'clock on Wednesday 
morning, the 19th. The asphyxia, which had then lasted 
twenty-four hours, was stronger than our efforts. 

" Your own feelings will help you to imagine our grief. 

" The French colony and the medical staff are thunder- 
struck. Splendid funeral honours have been rendered to our 
poor Thuillier. 

" He was buried at four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, 
with the finest and most imposing manifestation Alexandria 
had seen for a long time. 

" One very precious and affecting homage was rendered 
by the German Commission with a noble simplicity which 
touched us all very much. 

" M. Koch and his collaborators arrived when the news 
spread in the town. They gave utterance to beautiful and 
touching words to the memory of our dead friend. 
When the funeral took place, those gentlemen brought two 
wreaths which they themselves nailed on the coffin. ' They 
are simple,' said M. Koch, ' but they are of laurel, such as 
are given to the brave.' 

" M. Koch held one corner of the pall. We embalmed our 
comrade's body ; he lies in a sealed zinc coffin. All formal- 
ities have been complied with, so that his remains may be 
brought back to France when the necessary time has 
expired. In Egypt the period of delay is a whole year. 

" The French colony desires to erect a monument to the 
memory of Louis Thuillier. 

" Dear master, how much more I should like to tell you ! 
The recital of the sad event which happened so quickly 
would take pages. This blow is altogether incomprehen- 
sible. It was more than a fortnight since we had seen a 

208 



I882-I884 

single case of cholera ; we were beginning to study cattle- 
plague, 

" Of us all, Thuillier was the one who took most pre- 
cautions ; he was irreproachably careful. 

" We are writing by this post a few lines to his family, in 
the names of all of us. 

" Such are the blows cholera can strike at the end of an 
epidemic ! Want of time forces me to close this letter. 
Pray believe in our respectful affection." 

The whole of the French colony, who received great 
marks of sympathy from the Italians and other foreigners, 
wished to perpetuate the memory of Thuillier. Pasteur 
wrote, on October 16, to a French physician at Alexandria, 
who had informed him of this project : 

" I am touched with the generous resolution of the 
French colony at Alexandria to erect a monument to the 
memory of Louis Thuillier. That valiant and beloved 
young man was deserving of every honour. I know, 
perhaps better than any one, the loss inflicted on science 
by his cruel death. I cannot console myself, and I am 
already dreading the sight of the dear fellow's empty place 
in my laboratory." 

On his return to Paris, Pasteur read a paper to the 
Academy of Sciences, in his own name and in that of 
Thuillier, on the now well-ascertained mode of vaccina- 
tion for swine-fever. He began by recalling Thuillier's 
worth : 

" Thuillier entered my laboratory after taking the first 
rank at the Physical Science Agrégation competition at the 
Ecole Normale. His was a deeply meditative, silent nature ; 
his whole person breathed a virile energy which struck all 
those who knew him. An indefatigable worker, he was 
ever ready for self-sacrifice." 

A few days before, M. Straus had given to the Biology 

VOL. II. 209 p 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Society a summary statement of the studies of the Cholera 
Commission, concluding thus: "The docum-ents collected 
during those two months are far from solving the etiological 
problem of cholera, but will perhaps not be useless for the 
orientation of future research." 

The cholera bacillus was put in evidence, later on, by 
Dr. Koch, who had already suspected it during his researches 
in Egypt. 

Glory, which had been seen in the battlefield at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, now seemed to elect 
to dwell in the laboratory, that "temple of the future" 
as Pasteur called it. From every part of the world, letters 
reached Pasteur, appeals, requests for consultations. Many 
took him for a physician. " He does not cure individuals," 
answered Edmund About one day to a foreigner who was 
under that misapprehension; "he only tries to cure 
humanity." Some sceptical minds were predicting failure 
to his studies on hydrophobia. This problem was com- 
plicated by the fact that Pasteur was trying in vain to 
discover and isolate the specific microbe. 

He was endeavouring to evade that difiiculty ; the idea 
pursued him that human medicine might avail itself of 
" the long period of incubation of hydrophobia, by 
attempting to establish, during that interval before the 
appearance of the first rabic symptoms, a refractory con- 
dition in the subjects bitten." 

At the beginning of the year 1884, J. B. Dumas enjoyed 
following from a distance Pasteur's readings at the Académie 
des Sciences. His failing health and advancing age (he 
was more than eighty years old) had forced him to spend 
the winter in the South of France. On January 26, 1884 
he wrote to Pasteur for the last time, à propos of a book ^ 

^ La Vie d^un Savant,^ by the author of the present work. [Trans.] 

210 



I882-I884 

which was a short summary of Pasteur's discoveries and 
their concatenation : 

" Dear colleague and friend, — I have read with a great 
and sincere emotion the picture of your scientific life 
drawn by a faithful and loving hand. 

" Myself a witness and a sincere admirer of your happy 
efforts, your fruitful genius and your imperturbable method, 
I consider it a great service rendered to Science, that the 
accurate and complete whole should be put before the eyes 
of young people. 

" It will make a wholesome impression on the public in 
general ; to young scientists, it will be an initiation, and to 
those who, like me, have passed the age of labour it will 
bring happy memories of youthful enthusiasm. 

" May Providence long spare you to France, and maintain 
in you that admirable equilibrium between the mind that 
observes, the genius that conceives, and the hand that 
executes with a perfection unknown until now." 

This was a last proof of Dumas' affection for Pasteur. 
Although his life was now fast drawing to its close, his 
mental faculties were in no wise impaired, for we find him 
three weeks later, on February 20, using his influence as 
Permanent Secretary of the Academy to obtain the Lacaze 
prize for M. Cailletet, the inventor of the well-known 
apparatus for the liquefaction of gases. 

J. B. Dumas died on April 11, 1884. Pasteur was then 
about to start for Edinburgh on the occasion of the ter- 
centenary of the celebrated Scotch University. The 
" Institut de France," invited to take part in these celebra- 
tions, had selected representatives from each of the five 
Academies : the Académie Française was sending M. Caro ; 
the Academy of Science, Pasteur and de Lesseps; the 
Academy of Moral Sciences, M. Gréard ; the Academy of 
Inscriptions and Letters, M. Perrot ; and the Academy of 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Fine Arts, M. Eugène Guillaume. The Collège de France 
sent M. Guillaume Guizot, and the Academy of Medicine 
Dr. Henry Gueneau de Mussy. 

Pasteur much wished to relinquish this official journey ; 
the idea that he would not be able to follow to the grave 
the incomparable teacher of his youth, the counsellor and 
confidant of his life, was infinitely painful to him. 

He was however reconciled to it by one of his colleagues, 
M. Mézières, who was going to Edinburgh on behalf of the 
Minister of Public Instruction, and who pointed out to him 
that the best way of honouring Dumas' memory lay in 
remembering Dumas' chief object in life — the interests ot 
France. Pasteur went, hoping that he would have an op- 
portunity of speaking of Dumas to the Edinburgh students. 

In London, the French delegates had the pleasant surprise 
of finding that a private saloon had been reserved to take 
Pasteur and his friends to Edinburgh. This hospitality 
was offered to Pasteur by one of his numerous ad- 
mirers, Mr. Younger, an Edinburgh brewer, as a token 
of gratitude for his discoveries in the manufacture of beer. 
He and his wife and children welcomed Pasteur with 
the warmest cordiality, when the train reached Edinburgh ; 
the principal inhabitants of the great Scotch city vied with 
each other in entertaining the French delegates, who were 
delighted with their reception. 

The next morning, they, and the various representatives 
from all parts of the world, assembled in the Cathedral of 
St. Giles, where, with the exalted feeling which, in the 
Scotch people, mingles religious with political life, the Town 
Council had decided that a service should inaugurate the 
rejoicings. The Rev. Robert Flint, mounting that pulpit 
from which the impetuous John Knox, Calvin's friend and 
disciple, had breathed forth his violent fanaticism, preached 
to the immense assembly with a full consciousness of the 

212 



I882-I884 

importance ot his discourse. He spoke of the relations 
between Science and Faith, of the absolute liberty of science 
in the realm of facts, of the thought of God considered as a 
stimulant to research, progress being but a Divine impulse. 

In the afternoon, the students imparted life and 
merriment into the proceedings ; they had organized a 
dramatic performance, the members of the orchestra, even, 
being undergraduates. 

The French delegates took great interest in the system 
of this University. Accustomed as they were to look upon 
the State as sole master and dispenser, they now saw an 
independent institution, owing its fortune to voluntary 
contributions, revealing in every point the power of private 
enterprise. Unlike what takes place in France, where 
administrative unity makes itself felt in the smallest 
village, the British Government effaces itself, and merely 
endeavours to inspire faith in political unity. Absolutely 
her own mistress, the University of Edinburgh is free to 
confer high honorary degrees on her distinguished visitors. 
However, these honorary diplomas are but of two kinds, 
viz. : Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) and Doctor of Laws 
(LL.D.). In 1884, seventeen degrees of D.D. and 122 
degrees of LL.D. were reserved for the various delegates. 
" The only laws I know," smilingly said the learned 
Helmholtz, "are the laws of Physics." 

The solemn proclamation of the University degrees took 
place on Thursday, April 1 7. The streets and monuments 
of the beautiful city were decorated with flags, and an air 
of rejoicing pervaded the whole atmosphere. 

The ceremony began by a special prayer, alluding to the 
past, looking forward to the future, and asking for God's 
blessing on the delegates and their countries. The large 
assembly filled the immense hall where the Synod of the 
Presbyterian Church holds its meetings. The Chancellor 

213 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

and the Rector of the University were seated on a plat- 
form with a large number of professors ; those who were 
about to receive honorary degrees occupied seats in the 
centre of the hall ; about three thousand students found 
seats in various parts of the hall. 

The Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh had 
arranged that the new graduates should be called in 
alphabetical order. As each of them heard his name, he 
rose and mounted the platform. The students took great 
pleasure in heartily cheering those savants who had 
had most influence on their studies. When Pasteur's name 
was pronounced, a great silence ensued ; every one was 
trying to obtain a sight of him as he walked towards the 
platform. His appearance was the signal for a perfect 
outburst of applause ; five thousand men rose and cheered 
him. It was indeed a splendid ovation. 

In the evening, a banquet was set out in the hall, which 
was hung with the blue and white colours of the University ; 
there were a thousand guests, seated round twent5^-eight 
tables, one of which, the high table, was reserved for the 
speakers who were to propose the toasts, which were to 
last four hours. Pasteur was seated next to Virchow ; the}^ 
talked together of the question of rabies, and Virchow 
owned that, when he saw Pasteur in 1881 about to tackle 
this question, he much doubted the possibility of a solution. 
This friendly chat between two such men proves the 
desirability of such gatherings ; intercourse between the 
greatest scientists can but lead to general peace and 
fraternity between nations. After having read a telegram 
from the Queen, congratulating the University and wel- 
coming the guests, a toast was drunk to the Queen and to 
the Royal Family, and a few words spoken by the represen- 
tative of the Emperor of Brazil. Pasteur then rose to 
speak : 

214 



I 882- I 884 

" My Lord Chancellor, Gentlemen, the city of Edinburgh 
is now offering a sight of which she may be proud. All 
the great scientific institutions, meeting here, appear as an 
immense Congress of hopes and congratulations. The 
honour and glory of this international rendezvous deservedly 
belong to you, for it is centuries since Scotland united her 
destinies with those of the human mind. She was one of 
the first among the nations to understand that intellect 
leads the world. And the world of intellect, gladly 
answering your call, lays a well-merited homage at your 
feet. When, yesterday, the eminent Professor Robert Flint, 
addressing the Edinburgh University from the pulpit of St. 
Giles, exclaimed, 'Remember the past and look to the 
future,' all the delegates, seated like judges at a great 
tribunal, evoked a vision of past centuries and joined in a 
unanimous wish for a yet more glorious future. 

"Amongst the illustrious delegates of all nations who 
bring you an assurance of cordial good wishes, France has 
sent to represent her those of her institutions which are 
most representative of the French spirit and the best part 
of French glory. France is ready to applaud whenever a 
source of light appears in the world; and when death 
strikes down a man of genius, France is ready to weep as 
for one of her own children. This noble spirit of solidarity 
was brought home to me when I heard some of you speak 
feelingly of the death of the illustrious chemist, J. B. 
Dumas, a celebrated member of all your Academies, and 
only a few years ago an eloquent panegyrist of your great 
Faraday. It was a bitter grief to me that I had to leave 
Paris before his funeral ceremony ; but the hope of render- 
ing here a last and solemn homage to that revered master 
helped me to conquer my affliction. Moreover, gentlemen, 
men may pass, but their works remain ; we all are but 
passing guests of these great homes of intellect, which, like 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

all the Universities who have come to greet you in this 
solemn day, are assured of immortality." 

Pasteur, having thus rendered homage to J. B. Dumas, 
and having glorified his country by his presence, his 
speech and the great honours conferred on him, would have 
returned home at once; but the undergraduates begged 
to be allowed to entertain, the next day, some of those men 
whom they looked upon as examples and whom they might 
never see again. 

Pasteur thanked the students for this invitation, which 
filled him with pride and pleasure, for he had always loved 
young people, he said, and continued, in his deep, stirring 
voice : 

" Ever since I can remember my life as a man, I do not 
think I have ever spoken for the first time with a student 
without saying to him, ' Work perseveringly ; work can be 
made into a pleasure, and alone is profitable to man, to his 
city, to his country.' It is even more natural that I should 
thus speak to you. The common soul, (if I may so speak), 
of an assembly of young men is wholly formed of the most 
generous feelings, being yet illumined with the divine 
spark which is in every man as he enters this world. You 
have just given a proof of this assurance, and I have felt 
moved to the heart in hearing you applaud, as you have 
just been doing, such men as de Lesseps, Helmholtz and 
Virchow. Your language has borrowed from ours the 
beautiful word enthusiasm, bequeathed to us by the 
Greeks: ev ^eoç, an inward God. It was almost with 
a divine feeling that you just now cheered those great 
men. 

" One of those of our writers who have best made known 
to France and to Europe the philosophy of Robert Reid and 
Dugald Stewart said, addressing young men in the preface 
of one of his works : — 

216 



I882-I884 

" ' Whatever career you may embrace, look up to an 
exalted goal; worship great men and great things.' 

" Great things ! You have indeed seen them. Will not this 
centenary remain one of Scotland's glorious memories ? As 
to great men, in no country is their memory better honoured 
than in yours. But, if work should be the very life of your 
life, if the cult for great men and great things should be 
associated with your every thought, that is still not enough. 
Try to bring into everything you undertake the spirit of 
scientific method, founded on the immortal works of Galileo, 
Descartes and Newton. 

" You especially, medical students of this celebrated 
University of Edinburgh — who, trained as you are by 
eminent masters, may aspire to the highest scientific 
ambition — be you inspired by the experimental method. 
To its principles, Scotland owes such men as Brewster, 
Thomson and Lister." 

The speaker who had to respond on behalf of the students 
to the foreign delegates expressed himself thus, directly 
addressing Pasteur: 

" Monsieur Pasteur, you have snatched from nature 
secrets too carefully, almost maliciously hidden. We greet 
in you a benefactor of humanity, all the more so because 
we know that you admit the existence of spiritual secrets, 
revealed to us by what you have just called the work of 
God in us. 

"Representatives of France, we beg you to tell your 
great country that we are following with admiration the 
great reforms now being introduced into every branch of 
your education, reforms which we look upon as tokens of 
a beneficent rivalry and of a more and more cordial inter- 
course — for misunderstandings result from ignorance, a 
darkness lightened by the work of scientists." 

The next morning, at ten o'clock, crowds gathered on the 

217 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

station platform with waving handkerchiefs. People were 
showing each other a great Edinburgh daily paper, in which 
Pasteur's speech to the undergraduates was reproduced, 
and which also contained the following announcement in 
large print : 

"In memory of M. Pasteur's visit to Edinburgh, 
Mr. Younger offers to the Edinburgh University a donation 
of £500." 

Livingstone's daughter, Mrs. Bruce, on whom Pasteur 
had called the preceding day, came to the station a few 
moments before the departure of the train, bringing him a 
book entitled The Life of Livingstone. 

The saloon carriage awaited Pasteur and his friends. 
They departed, delighted with the hospitality they had 
received, and much struck with the prominent place given 
to science and the welcome accorded to Pasteur. "This is 
indeed glory," said one of them. "Believe me," said 
Pasteur, " I only look upon it as a reason for continuing to 
go forward as long as my strength does not fail me." 



218 



CHAPTER V 

I 8 8 4-1 8 8 5 

AMIDST the various researches undertaken in his 
laboratory, one study was placed by Pasteur above 
every other, one mystery constantly haunted his mind — that 
of hydrophobia. When he was received at the Académie 
Française, Renan, hoping to prove himself a prophet for 
once, said to him : " Humanity will owe to you deliverance 
from a horrible disease and also from a sad anomaly: I 
mean the distrust which we cannot help mingling with the 
caresses of the animal in whom we see most of nature's 
smiling benevolence." 

The two first mad dogs brought into the laboratory were 
given to Pasteur, in i88o, by M. Bourrel, an old army veter- 
inary surgeon who had long been trying to find a remedy 
for hydrophobia. He had invented a preventive measure 
which consisted in filing down the teeth of dogs, so that they 
should not bite into the skin ; in 1874, he had written that 
vivisection threw no light on that disease, the laws of 
which were " impenetrable to science until now." It now 
occurred to him that, perhaps, the investigators in the 
laboratory of the Ecole Normale might be more successful 
than he had been in his kennels in the Rue Fontaine-au-Roi. 

One of the two dogs he sent was suffering from what 
is called dumb madness : his jaw hung, half opened and 
paralyzed, his tongue was covered with foam, and his eyes 
full of wistful anguish ; the other made ferocious darts at 

219 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

anything held out to him, with a rabid fury in his bloodshot 
eyes, and, in the hallucinations of his delirium, gave vent to 
haunting, despairing howls. 

Much confusion prevailed at that time regarding this 
disease, its seat, its causes, and its remedy. Three things 
seemed positive : firstly, that the rabic virus was contained 
in the saliva of the mad animals ; secondly, that it was 
communicated through bites ; and thirdly, that the period of 
incubation might vary from a few days to several months. 
Clinical observation was reduced to complete impotence ; 
perhaps experiments might throw some light on the subject. 

Bouley had affirmed in April, 1870, that the germ of the 
evil was localized in the saliva, and a new fact had seemed 
to support this theory. On December 10, 1880, Fasteui 
was advised by Professor Lannelongue that a five-year-old 
child, bitten on the face a month before, had just been 
admitted into the Hôpital Trousseau. The unfortunate 
little patient presented all the characteristics of hydrophobia : 
spasms, restlessness, shudders at the least breath of air, an 
ardent thirst, accompanied with an absolute impossibility of 
swallowing, convulsive movements, fits of furious rage — 
not one symptom was absent. The child died after twenty- 
four hours of horrible suffering — suffocated by the mucus 
which filled the mouth. Pasteur gathered some of that 
mucus four hours after the child's death, and mixed it with 
water; he then inoculated this into some rabbits, which 
died in less than thirty-six hours, and whose saliva, in- 
jected into other rabbits, provoked an almost equally rapid 
death. Dr. Maurice Raynaud, who had already declared 
that hydrophobia could be transmitted to rabbits through 
the human saliva, and who had also caused the death of 
some rabbits with the saliva of that same child, thought 
himself justified in saying that those rabbits had died of 
hydrophobia. 

220 



I884-I885 

Pasteur was slower in drawing conclusions. He had 
examined with a microscope the blood of those rabbits 
which had died in the laboratory, and had found in it a 
micro-organism; he had cultivated this organism in veal 
broth, inoculated it into rabbits and dogs, and, its virulence 
having manifested itself in these animals, their blood had 
been found to contain that same microbe. " But," added 
Pasteur at the meeting of the Academy of Medicine 
(January 18, 188 1), "I am absolutely ignorant of the con- 
nection there may be between this new disease and hydro- 
phobia." It was indeed a singular thing that the deadly 
issue of this disease should occur so early, when the incuba- 
tion period of hydrophobia is usually so long. Was there 
not some unknown microbe associated with the rabic 
saliva ? This query was followed by experiments made 
with the saliva of children who had died of ordinary 
diseases, and even with that of healthy adults. Thuillier, 
following up and studying this saliva microbe and its 
special virulence with his usual patience, soon applied to it 
with success the method of attenuation by the oxygen in 
air. " What did we want with a new disease?" said a good 
many people, and yet it was making a step forward to clear 
up this preliminary confusion, Pasteur, in the course of 
a long and minute study of the saliva of mad dogs — in 
which it was so generally admitted that the virulent prin- 
ciple of rabies had its seat, that precautions against saliva 
were the only ones taken at post-mortem examinations — 
discovered many other mistakes. If a healthy dog's saliva 
contains many microbes, licked up by the dog in various 
kinds of dirt, what must be the condition of the mouth of a 
rabid dog, springing upon everything he meets, to tear it and 
bite it ? The rabic virus is therefore associated with many 
other micro-organisms, ready to play their part and puzzle 
experimentalists; abscesses, morbid complications of all 

221 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

sorts, may intervene before the development of the rabic 
virus. Hydrophobia might evidently be developed by the 
inoculation of saliva, but it could not be confidently asserted 
that it would. Pasteur had made endless efforts to inocu- 
late rabies to rabbits solely through the saliva of a mad 
dog ; as soon as a case of hydrophobia occurred in Bourrel's 
kennels, a telegram informed the laboratory, and a few 
rabbits were immediately taken round in a cab. 

One day, Pasteur having wished to collect a little saliva 
from the jaws of a rabid dog, so as to obtain it directly, two 
of Bourrel's assistants undertook to drag a mad bulldog, 
foaming at the mouth, from its cage ; they seized it by 
means of a lasso, and stretched it on a table. These two 
men, thus associated with Pasteur in the same danger, with 
the same calm heroism, held the struggling, ferocious 
animal down with their powerful hands, whilst the 
scientist drew, by means of a glass tube held between his 
lips, a few drops of the deadly saliva. 

But the same uncertainty followed the inoculation of the 
saliva ; the incubation was so slow that weeks and months 
often elapsed whilst the result of an experiment was being 
anxiously awaited. Evidently the saliva was not a sure 
agent for experiments, and if more knowledge was to be 
obtained, some other means had to be found of obtain- 
ing it. 

Magendie and Renault had both tried experimenting 
with rabic blood, but with no results, and Paul Bert had 
been equally unsuccessful. Pasteur tried in his turn, but 
also in vain. "We must try other experiments," he said, 
with his usual indefatigable perseverance. 

As the number of cases observed became larger, he felt a 
growing conviction that hydrophobia has its seat in the 
nervous system, and particularly in the medulla oblongata. 
"The propagation of the virus in a rabid dog's nervous 

222 



I884-I885 

system can almost be observed in its every stage," writes 
M. Roux, Pasteur's daily associate in these researches, 
which he afterwards made the subject of his thesis. "The 
anguish and fury due to the excitation of the grey cortex 
of the brain are followed by an alteration of the voice and a 
difficulty in deglutition. The medulla oblongata and the 
nerves starting from it are attacked in their turn ; finally, 
the spinal cord itself becomes invaded and paralysis closes 
the scene." 

As long as the virus has not reached the nervous centres, 
it may sojourn for weeks or months in some point of the 
body ; this explains the slowness of certain incubations, and 
the fortunate escapes after some bites from rabid dogs. The 
a priori supposition that the virus attacks the nervous 
centres went very far back ; it had served as a basis to a 
theory enunciated by Dr. Duboué (of Pau), who had, how- 
ever, not supported it by any experiments. On the contrary, 
when M. Galtier, a professor at the Lyons Veterinary 
School, had attempted experiments in that direction, he 
had to inform the Academy of Medicine, in January, 1881, 
that he had only ascertained the existence of virus in rabid 
dogs in the lingual glands and in the bucco-pharyngeal 
mucous membrane. " More than ten times, and always 
unsuccessfully, have I inoculated the product obtained by 
pressure of the cerebral substances of the cerebellum or of 
the medulla oblongata of rabid dogs," 

Pasteur was about to prove that it was possible to succeed 
by operating in a special manner, according to a rigorous 
technique, unknown in other laboratories. When the post- 
mortem examination of a mad dog had revealed no charac- 
teristic lesion, the brain was uncovered, and the surface of 
the medulla oblongata scalded with a glass stick, so as to 
destroy any external dust or dirt. Then, with a long tube, 
previously put through a flame, a particle of the substance 

223 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

was drawn and deposited in a glass just taken from a stove 
heated up to 200° C, and mixed with a little water or 
sterilized broth by means of a glass agitator, also previously 
put through a flame. The syringe used for inoculation on 
the rabbit or dog (lying ready on the operating board) had 
been purified in boiling water. 

Most of the animals who received this inoculation under 
the skin succumbed to hydrophobia ; that virulent matter 
was therefore more successful than the saliva, which was 
a great result obtained. 

" The seat of the rabic virus," wrote Pasteur, " is there- 
fore not in the saliva only : the brain contains it in a degree 
of virulence at least equal to that of the saliva of rabid 
animals." But, to Pasteur's eyes, this was but a preliminary 
step on the long road which stretched before him ; it was 
necessary that all the inoculated animals should contract 
hydrophobia, and the period of incubation had to be 
shortened. 

It was then that it occurred to Pasteur to inoculate the 
rabic virus directly on the surface of a dog's brain. He 
thought that, by placing the virus from the beginning 
in its true medium, hydrophobia would more surely 
supervene and the incubation might be shorter. The 
experiment was attempted: a dog under chloroform was 
fixed to the operating board, and a small, round portion of 
the cranium removed by means of a trephine (a surgical 
instrument somewhat similar to a fret-saw) ; the tough 
fibrous membrane called the dura-mater, being thus 
exposed, was then injected with a small quantity of the 
prepared virus, which lay in readiness in a Pravaz syringe. 
The wound was washed with carbolic and the skin stitched 
together, the whole thing lasting but a few minutes. The 
dog, on returning to consciousness, seemed quite the same 

224 



I 884-1 885 

as usual. But, after fourteen days, hydrophobia appeared : 
rabid fury, characteristic howls, the tearing up and devour- 
ing of his bed, delirious hallucination, and finally, paralysis 
and death. 

A method was therefore found by which rabies was 
contracted surely and swiftly. Trephinings were again 
performed on chloroformed animals — Pasteur had a great 
horror of useless sufiferings, and always insisted on 
anaesthesia. — In every case, characteristic hydrophobia 
occurred after inoculation on the brain. The main lines of 
this complicated question were beginning to be traceable ; 
but other obstacles were in the way. Pasteur could not 
apply the method he had hitherto used, i.e. : to isolate, and 
then to cultivate in an artificial medium, the microbe of 
hydrophobia, for he failed in detecting this microbe. Yet its 
existence admitted of no doubt ; perhaps it was beyond the 
limits of human sight. "Since this unknown being is 
living," thought Pasteur, " we must cultivate it ; failing an 
artificial medium, let us try the brain of living rabbits ; it 
would indeed be an experimental feat ! " 

As soon as a trephined and inoculated rabbit died 
paralysed, a little of his rabic medulla was inoculated to 
another ; each inoculation succeeded another, and the time 
of incubation became shorter and shorter, until, after a 
hundred uninterrupted inoculations, it came to be reduced 
to seven days. But the virus, having reached this degree, 
the virulence of which was found to be greater than that 
of the virus of dogs made rabid by an accidental bite, now 
became fixed; Pasteur had mastered it. He could now 
predict the exact time when death should occur in each of 
the inoculated animals ; his predictions were verified with 
surprising accuracy. 

Pasteur was not yet satisfied with the immense progress 
marked by infallible inoculation and the shortened incuba- 

VOL. II. 225 Q 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

tion ; he now wished to decrease the degrees of virulence 
— when the attenuation of the virus was once conquered, it 
might be hoped that dogs could be made refractory to 
rabies. Pasteur abstracted a fragment of the medulla from 
a rabbit which had just died of rabies after an inoculation of 
the fixed virus ; this fragment was suspended by a thread 
in a sterilized phial, the air in which was kept dry by 
some pieces of caustic potash lying at the bottom of the 
vessel and which was closed by a cotton- wool plug to pre- 
vent the entrance of atmospheric dusts. The temperature of 
the room where this dessication took place was maintained 
at 23° C. As the medulla gradually became dry, its virulence 
decreased, until, at the end of fourteen days, it had become 
absolutely extinguished. This now inactive medulla was 
crushed and mixed with pure water, and injected under the 
skin of some dogs. The next day they were inoculated 
with medulla which had been dessicating for thirteen days, 
and so on, using increased virulence until the medulla was 
used of a rabbit dead the same day. These dogs might now 
be bitten by rabid dogs given them as companions for a few 
minutes, or submitted to the intracranial inoculations of 
the deadly virus : they resisted both. 

Having at last obtained this refractory condition, Pasteur 
was anxious that his results should be verified by a Com- 
mission. The Minister of Public Instruction acceded to 
this desire, and a Commission was constituted in May, 1884, 
composed of Messrs. Béclard, Dean of the Faculty of 
Medicine, Paul Bert, Bouley, Villemin, Vulpian, and 
Tisserand, Director of the Agriculture Office. The Com- 
mission immediately set to work; a rabid dog having 
succumbed at Alfort on June i, its carcase was brought to 
the laboratory of the Ecole Normale, and a fragment of the 
medulla oblongata was mixed with some sterilized broth. 
Two dogs, declared by Pasteur to be refractory to rabies, 

226 



I 884- I 885 

were trephined, and a few drops of the liquid injected into 
their brains; two other dogs and two rabbits received 
inoculations at the same time, with the same liquid and in 
precisely the same manner. 

Bouley was taking notes for a report to be presented to 
the Minister : 

" M. Pasteur tells us that, considering the nature of the 
rabic virus used, the rabbits and the two new dogs will 
develop rabies within twelve or fifteen days, and that the 
two refractory dogs will not develop it at all, however long 
they may be detained under observation." 

On May 29, Mme. Pasteur wrote to her children : 

" The Commission on rabies met to-day and elected M. 
Bouley as chairman. Nothing is settled as to commencing 
experiments. Your father is absorbed in his thoughts, talks 
little, sleeps little, rises at dawn, and, in one word, continues 
the life I began with him this day thirty-five years ago," 

On June 3, Bourrel sent word that he had a rabid dog in 
the kennels of the Rue Fontaine au Roi ; a refractory dog 
and a new dog were immediately submitted to numerous 
bites ; the latter was violently bitten on the head in several 
places. The rabid dog, still living the next day and still 
able to bite, was given two more dogs, one of which was 
refractory ; this dog, and the refractory dog bitten on the 
3rd, were allowed to receive the first bites, the commission 
having thought that perhaps the saliva might then be more 
abundant and more dangerous. 

On June 6, the rabid dog having died, the Commission 
proceeded to inoculate the medulla of the animal into six 
more dogs, by means of trephining. Three of those dogs 
were refractory, the three others were fresh from the 
kennels ; there were also two rabbits. 

On the loth, Bourrel telegraphed the arrival of another 
rabid dog, and the same operations were gone through. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

" This rabid, furious dog," wrote Pasteur to his son-in- 
law, " had spent the night lying on his master's bed ; his 
appearance had been suspicious for a day or two. On the 
morning of the loth, his voice became rabietic, and his 
master, who had heard the bark of a rabid dog twenty 
years ago, was seized with terror, and brought the dog to 
M. Bourrel, who found that he was indeed in the biting 
stage of rabies. Fortunately a lingering fidelity had pre- 
vented him from attacking his master . . . 

" This morning the rabic condition is beginning to 
appear on one of the new dogs trephined on June i, at the 
same time as two refractory dogs. Let us hope that the 
other new dog will also develop it and that the two 
refractory ones will resist." 

At the same time that the Commission examined this 
dog which developed rabies within the exact time indicated 
by Pasteur, the two rabbits on whom inoculation had been 
performed at the same time were found to present the first 
symptoms of rabic paralysis. " This paralysis," noted 
Bouley, is revealed by great weakness of the limbs, par- 
ticularly of the hind quarters ; the least shock knocks them 
over and they experience great difficulty in getting up 
again." The second new dog on whom inoculation had 
been performed on June i was now also rabid; the 
refractory dogs were in perfect health. 

During the whole of June, Pasteur found time to keep 
his daughter and son-in-law informed of the progress of 
events. "Keep my letters," he wrote, "they are almost 
like copies of the notes taken on the experiments." 

Towards the end of the month, dozens of dogs were 
submitted to control-experiments which were continued 
until August. The dogs which Pasteur declared to be 
refractory underwent all the various tests made with rabic 
virus ; bites, injections into the veins, trephining, every- 

228 



I 884-1 885 

thing was tried before Pasteur would decide to call them 
vaccinated. On June 17, Bourrel sent word that the new 
dog bitten on June 3 was becoming rabic ; the members of 
the Commission went to the Rue Fontaine au Roi. The 
period of incubation had only lasted fourteen days, a fact 
attributed by Bouley to the bites having been chiefly about 
the head. The dog was destroying his kennel and biting 
his chain ferociously. More new dogs developed rabies the 
following days. Nineteen new dogs had been experimented 
upon : three died out of six bitten by a rabid dog, six out of 
eight after intravenous inoculation, and five out of five 
after subdural inoculation. Bouley thought that a few 
more cases might occur, the period of incubation after bites 
being so extremely irregular. 

Bouley's report was sent to the Minister of Public 
Instruction at the beginning of August. " We submit to 
you to-day," he wrote, " this report on the first series of 
experiments that we have just witnessed, in order that 
M. Pasteur may refer to it in the paper which he proposes 
to read at the Copenhagen International Scientific Congress 
on these magnificent results, which devolve so much credit 
on French Science and which give it a fresh claim to the 
world's gratitude." 

The Commission wished that a large kennel yard might 
be built, in order that the duration of immunity in protected 
dogs might be timed, and that other great problem solved, 
viz., whether it would be possible, through the inoculation 
of attenuated virus, to defy the virus from bites. 

By the Minister's request, the Commission investigated 
the Meudon woods in search of a favourable site ; an 
excellent place was found in the lower part of the Park, 
away from dwelling houses, easy to enclose and presumably 
in no one's way. But, when the inhabitants of Meudon 
heard of this project, they protested vehemently, evidently 

229 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

terrified at the thought of rabid dogs, however securely- 
bound, in their peaceful neighbourhood. 

Another piece of ground was then suggested to Pasteur, 
near St. Cloud, in the Park of Villeneuve l'Etang. Origin- 
ally a State domain, this property had been put up for sale, 
but had found no buyer, not being suitable for parcelling 
out in small lots ; the Bill was withdrawn which allowed of 
its sale and the greater part of the domain was devoted by 
the Ministry to Pasteur's and his assistants' experiments 
on the prophylaxis of contagious diseases. 

Pasteur, his mind full of ideas, started for the Inter- 
national Medical Congress, which was now to take place 
at Copenhagen. Sixteen hundred members arranged to 
attend, and nearly all of them found on arriving that they 
were to be entertained in the houses of private individuals. 
The Danes carry hospitality to the most generous excess ; 
several of them had been learning French for the last 
three years, the better to entertain the French delegates. 
Pasteur's son, then secretary of the French Legation at 
Copenhagen, had often spoken to his father with apprecia- 
tive admiration of those Northerners, who hide deep 
enthusiasm under apparent calmness, almost coldness. 

The opening meeting took place on August lo in the 
large hall of the Palace of Industry ; the King and Queen of 
Denmark and the King and Queen of Greece were present 
at that impressive gathering. The President, Professor 
Panum, welcomed the foreign members in the name of his 
country ; he proclaimed the neutrality of Science, adding 
that the three official languages to be used during the 
Congress would be French, English, and German, His 
own speech was entirely in French, " the language which 
least divides us," he said, " and which we are accustomed 
to look upon as the most courteous in the world." 

The former president of the London Congress, Sir James 

230 



I884-I885 

Paget, emphasized the scientific consequences of those 
triennial meetings, showing that, thanks to them, nations 
may calculate the march of progress. 

Virchow, in the name of Germany, developed the same 
idea. 

Pasteur, representing France, showed again as he had 
done at Milan in 1878, in London in 1881, at Geneva in 
1882, and quite recently in Edinburgh, how much the 
scientist and the patriot were one in him. 

" In the name of France," said he, '' I thank M. le 
President for his words of welcome ... By our presence 
in this Congress, we affirm the neutrality of Science . . . 
Science is of no country. . . . But if Science has no 
country, the scientist must keep in mind all that may work 
towards the glory of his country. In every great scientist 
will be found a great patriot. The thought of adding to 
the greatness of his country sustains him in his long 
efforts, and throws him into the difficult but glorious 
scientific enterprises which bring about real and durable 
conquests. Humanity then profits by those labours coming 
from various directions. ..." 

At the end of the meeting Pasteur was presented to the 
King, The Queen of Denmark and the Queen of Greece, re- 
gardless of etiquette, walked towards him, " a signal proof," 
wrote a French contemporary, " of the esteem in which 
our illustrious countryman is held at the Danish Court." 
Five general meetings were to give some of the scientists 
an opportunity of expounding their views on subjects of 
universal interest. Pasteur was asked to read the first 
paper ; his audience consisted, besides the members of the 
Congress, of many other men interested in scientific things, 
who had come to hear him describe the steps by which 
he had made such secure progress in the arduous question 
of hydrophobia. He began by a declaration of war against 

231 



THE LlbE OF PASTEUR 

the prejudice by which so many people believe that rabies 
can occur spontaneously. Whatever the pathological, 
physiological, or other conditions may be under which a 
dog or another animal is placed, rabies never appears if 
the animal has not been bitten or licked by another rabid 
animal ; this is so truly the case that hydrophobia is un- 
known in certain countries. In order to preserve a whole 
land from the disease, it is sufficient that a law should, as 
in Australia, compel every imported dog to be in quarantine 
for several months ; he would then, if bitten by a mad dog 
before his departure, have ample time to die before infecting 
other animals. Norway and Lapland are equally free from 
rabies, a few good prophylactic measures being sufficient to 
avert the scourge. 

It will be objected that there must have been a first rabid 
dog originally. " That," said Pasteur, " is a problem which 
cannot be solved in the present state of knowledge, for it 
partakes of the great and unknown mystery of the origin 
of life." 

The audience followed with an impassioned curiosity the 
history of the stages followed by Pasteur on the road to his 
great discovery : the preliminary experiments, the demon- 
stration of the fact that the rabic virus invades the 
nervous centres, the culture of the virus within living 
animals, the attenuation of the rabic virus when passed 
from dogs to monkeys, and, simultaneously with this 
graduated attenuation, a converse process by successive 
passages from rabbit to rabbit, the possibility of obtaining 
in this way all the degrees of virulence, and finally the 
acquired certainty of having obtained a preventive vaccine 
against canine hydrophobia. 

" Enthusiastic applause," wrote the reporter of the 
Journal des Débats, "greeted the conclusions of the in- 
defatigable worker." 

232 



I884-I885 

In the course of one of the excursions arranged for the 
members of the Congress, Pasteur had the pleasure of 
seeing his methods applied on a large scale, not as in Italy 
to the progress of sériciculture, but to that of the manu- 
facture of beer. J. C. Jacobsen, a Danish citizen, whose 
name was celebrated in the whole of Europe by his 
munificent donations to science, had founded in 1847 the 
Carlsberg Brewery, now one of the most important in the 
world ; at least 200,000 hectolitres were now produced every 
year by the Carlsberg Brewery and the Ny Carlsberg branch 
of it, which was under the direction of Jacobsen's son. 

In 1879, Jacobsen, who was unknown to Pasteur, wrote 
to him, " I should be very much obliged if you would allow 
me to order from M. Paul Dubois, one of the great artists 
who do France so much credit, a marble bust of yourself, 
which I desire to place in the Carlsberg laboratory in 
token of the services rendered to chemistry, physiology, 
and beer-manufacture, by your studies on fermentation, a 
foundation to all future progress in the brewer's trade." 
Paul Dubois' bust is a masterpiece : it is most characteristic 
of Pasteur — the deep thoughtful far-away look in his eyes, 
a somewhat stern expression on his powerful features. 

Actuated, like his father, by a feeling of gratitude, the 
younger Jacobsen had placed a bronze reproduction of this 
bust in a niche in the wall of the brewery, at the entrance 
of the Pasteur Street, leading to Ny Carlsberg. 

This visit to the brewery was an object lesson to the 
members of the Congress, who were magnificently enter- 
tained by Jacobsen and his son ; no better demonstration 
was ever made of the services which industry may receive 
from science. In the great laboratory, the physiologist 
Hansen had succeeded in finding differences in yeast ; he 
had just separated from each other three kinds of yeast, 
each producing beer with a different flavour. 

233 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

The French scientists were delighted with the practical 
sense and delicate feelings of the Danish people. Though 
they had gone through bitter trials in 1864, though France, 
England, and Russia had countenanced the unrighteous 
invasion, in the face of the old treaties which guaranteed 
to Denmark the possession of Schleswig, the diminished 
and impoverished nation had not given vent to barren 
recriminations or declamatory protests. Proudly and 
silently sorrowing, the Danes had preserved their respect 
for the past, faith in justice and the cult of their great 
men. It is a strange thing that Shakespeare should have 
chosen that land of good sense and well-balanced reason, 
for the surroundings of his mysterious hero, of all men 
the most haunted by the maddening enigma of destiny. 

Elsinore is but a short distance from Copenhagen, and 
no member of the Congress, especially among the English 
section, could have made up his mind to leave Denmark 
without visiting Hamlet's home. 

A Transport Company organized the visit to Elsinore 
for a day when the Congress had arranged to have a 
complete holiday. Five steamers, gay with flags, were 
provided for the thousand medical men and their families, 
and accomplished the two hours' crossing to Elsinore on 
a lovely, clear day, with an absolutely calm sea. The 
scientific tourists landed at the foot of the old Kronborg 
Castle, ready for the lunch which was served out to them 
and which proved barely sufficient for their appetites; 
there was not quite enough bread for the Frenchmen, 
proverbially bread-eaters, and the water, running a little 
short, had to be supplemented with champagne. 

Some of the visitors returned from a neighbouring wood, 
where they had been to see the stones of the supposed 
tomb of Hamlet, disappointed at having looked in vain for 
Ophelia's stream and for the willow tree which heard her 

334 



I884-I885 

sing her last song, her hands full of flowers. Evidently 
this place was but an imaginary scenery given by Shake- 
speare to the drama which stands like a point of interroga- 
tion before the mystery of human life ; but his life-giving 
art has for ever made of Elsinore the place where Hamlet 
lived and suffered. 

Pasteur, to whom the Danish character, in its strength 
and simplicity, proved singularly attractive, remained in 
Copenhagen for some time after the Congress was over. 
He had much pleasure in visiting the Thorwaldsen 
Museum. Copenhagen, after showering honours on the 
great artist during his lifetime, has continued to worship 
him after his death. Every statue, every plaster cast, 
is preserved in that Museum with extraordinary care. 
Thorwaldsen himself lies in the midst of his works — his 
simple stone grave, covered with graceful ivy, is in one 
of the courtyards of the Museum. 

Pasteur went on to Arbois from Copenhagen. The 
laboratory he had built there not being large enough to 
take in rabid dogs, he dictated from his study the ex- 
periments to be carried out in Paris ; his carefully kept 
notebooks enabled him to know exactly how things were 
going on. His nephew, Adrien Loir, now a curator in the 
laboratory of Rue d'Ulm had gladly given up his holidays 
and remained in Paris with the faithful Eugène Viala. 
This excellent assistant had come to Paris from Alais in 
1871, at the request of Pasteur, who knew his family. 
Viala was then only twelve years old and could barely 
read and write. Pasteur sent him to an evening school 
and himself helped him with his studies ; the boy was very 
intelligent and willing to learn. He became most useful 
to Pasteur, who, in 1885, was glad to let him undertake a 
great deal of the laboratory work, under the guidance of 

235 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

M. Roux, he was ultimately entrusted with all the tre- 
phining operations on dogs, rabbits, and guinea-pigs. 

The letters written to him by Pasteur in 1884 show the 
exact point reached at that moment by the investigations 
on hydrophobia. Many people already thought those 
studies advanced enough to allow the method of treatment 
to be applied to man. 

Pasteur wrote to Viala on September 19, " Tell M. Adrien 
(Loir) to send the following telegram : ' Surgeon Symonds, 
Oxford, England. Operation on man still impossible. No 
possibility at present of sending attenuated virus.' See 
MM. Bourrel and Béraud, procure a dog which has died 
of street-rabies, and use its medulla to inoculate a new 
monkey, two guinea-pigs and two rabbits. ... I am 
afraid Nocard's dog cannot have been rabid ; even if you 
were sure that he was, you had better try those tests 
again. 

" Since M. Bourrel says he has several mad dogs at present, 
you might take two couple of new dogs to his kennels ; 
when he has a good biting dog, he can have a pair of our 
dogs bitten, after which you will treat one of them so as to 
make him refractory (carefully taking note of the time 
elapsed between the bites and the beginning of the treat- 
ment. Mind you keep notes of every new experiment 
undertaken, and write to me every other day at least." 

Pasteur pondered on the means of extinguishing hydro- 
phobia or of merely diminishing its frequency. Could 
dogs be vaccinated? There are 100,000 dogs in Paris, 
about 2,500,000 more in the provinces : vaccination necessi- 
tates several preventive inoculations ; innumerable kennels 
would have to be built for the purpose, to say nothing 
of the expense of keeping the dogs and of providing a 
trained staff capable of performing the difficult and 
dangerous operations. And, as M. Nocard truly remarked, 

236 



I884-I885 

where were rabbits to be found in sufficient number for the 
vaccine emulsions? 

Optional vaccination did not seem more practicable; it 
could only be worked on a very restricted scale and was 
therefore of very little use in a general way. 

The main question was the possibility of preventing 
hydrophobia from occurring in a human being, previously 
bitten by a rabid dog. 

The Emperor of Brazil, who took the greatest interest in 
the doings of the Ecole Normale laboratory, having written 
to Pasteur asking when the preventive treatment could be 
applied to man, Pasteur answered as follows — 

" September 22. 

" Sire — Baron Itajuba, the Minister for Brazil, has handed 
me the letter which Your Majesty has done me the honour 
of writing on August 21. The Academy welcomed with 
unanimous sympathy your tribute to the memory of our 
illustrious colleague, M. Dumas ; it will listen with similar 
pleasure to the words of regret which you desire me to 
express on the subject of M. Wurtz's premature death. 

" Your Majesty is kind enough to mention my studies on 
hydrophobia: they are making good and uninterrupted 
progress. I consider, however, that it will take me nearly 
two years more to bring them to a happy issue . . . 

" What I want to do is to obtain prophylaxis of rabies 
after bites. 

" Until now I have not dared to attempt anything on 
men, in spite of my own confidence in the result and the 
numerous opportunities afforded to me since my last read- 
ing at the Academy of Sciences. I fear too much that a 
failure might compromise the future, and I want first to 
accumulate successful cases on animals. Things in that 
direction are going very well indeed ; I already have 
several examples of dogs made refractory after a rabietic 

237 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

bite. I take two dogs, cause them both to be bitten by a 
mad dog; I vaccinate the one and leave the other 
without any treatment : the latter dies and the first re- 
mains perfectly well. 

" But even when I shall have multiplied examples of the 
prophylaxis of rabies in dogs, I think my hand will tremble 
when I go on to Mankind. It is here that the high and 
powerful initiative of the head of a State might intervene 
for the good of humanity. If I were a King, an Emperor, 
or even the President of a Republic, this is how I should 
exercise my right of pardoning criminals condemned to 
death. I should invite the counsel of a condemned man, on 
the eve of the day fixed for his execution, to choose between 
certain death and an experiment which would consist in 
several preventive inoculations of rabic virus, in order to 
make the subject's constitution refractory to rabies. If he 
survived this experiment — and I am convinced that he 
would — his life would be saved and his punishment com- 
muted to a lifelong surveillance, as a guarantee towards 
that society which had condemned him. 

" All condemned men would accept these conditions, death 
being their only terror. 

" This brings me to the question of cholera, of which Your 
Majesty also has the kindness to speak to me. Neither 
Dr. Koch nor Drs. Straus and Roux have succeeded in 
giving cholera to animals, and therefore great uncertainty 
prevails regarding the bacillus to which Dr. Koch attri- 
butes the causation of cholera. It ought to be possible 
to try and communicate cholera to criminals condemned to 
death, by the injection of cultures of that bacillus. When 
the disease declared itself, a test could be made of the re- 
medies which are counselled as apparently most efficacious. 

" I attach so much importance to these measures, that, if 
Your Majesty shared my views, I should willingly come to 

238 



I 884-1 885 

Rio Janeiro, notwithstanding my age and the state of my 
health, in order to undertake such studies on the prophy- 
laxis of hydrophobia and the contagion of cholera and 
its remedies. 

" I am, with profound respect. Your Majesty's humble 
and obedient servant." 

In other times, the right of pardon could be exercised in 
the form of a chance of life offered to a criminal lending 
himself to an experiment. Louis XVI, having admired a 
fire balloon rising above Versailles, thought of proposing to 
two condemned men that they should attempt to go up in 
one. But Pilâtre des Roziers, whose ambition it was to be 
the first aeronaut, w^as indignant at the thought that "vile 
criminals should be the first to rise up in the air." He won 
his cause, and in November, 1783, he organized an ascent 
at the Muette which lasted twenty minutes. 

In England, in the eighteenth century, before Jenner's 
discovery, successful attempts had been made at the direct 
inoculation of small-pox. In some historical and medical 
Researches on Vaccine^ published in 1803, Husson relates 
that the King of England, wishing to have the members of 
his family inoculated, began by having the method tried on 
six criminals condemned to death; they were all saved, 
and the Royal Family submitted to inoculation. 

There is undoubtedly a beautiful aspect of that idea of 
utilizing the fate of a criminal for the cause of Humanity. 
But in our modern laws no such liberty is left to Justice, 
which has no power to invent new punishments, or to enter 
into a bargain with a condemned criminal. 

Before his departure from Arbois, Pasteur encountered 
fresh and unforeseen obstacles. The successful opposition 
of the inhabitants of Meudon had inspired those of St. 
Cloud, Ville d'Avray, Vaucresson, Marnes, and Garches 
with the idea of resisting in their turn the installation of 

339 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Pasteur's kennels at Villeneuve l'Etang. People spoke of 
public danger, of children exposed to meet ferocious rabid 
dogs wandering loose about the park, of popular Sundays 
spoilt, picnickers disturbed, etc., etc. 

A former pupil of Pasteur's at the Strasburg Faculty, 
M. Christen, now a Town Councillor at Vaucresson, warned 
Pasteur of all this excitement, adding that he personally 
was ready to do his best to calm the terrors of his towns- 
people. 

Pasteur answered, thanking him for his efforts. "... I 
shall be back in Paris on October 24, and on the morning 
of the twenty-fifth and following days I shall be pleased to 
see any one desiring information on the subject. . . . But 
you may at once assure your frightened neighbours, Sir, 
that there will be no mad dogs at Villeneuve l'Etang, but 
only dogs made refractory to rabies. Not having enough 
room in my laboratory, I am actually obliged to quarter on 
various veterinary surgeons those dogs, which I should like 
to enclose in covered kennels, quite safely secured, you 
may be sure." 

Pasteur, writing about this to his son, could not help 
saying, " Months of fine weather have been wasted ! This 
will keep my plans back almost a year." 

Little by little, in spite of the opposition which burst out 
now and again, calm was again re-established. French 
good sense and appreciation of great things got the better 
of the struggle ; in January, 1885, Pasteur was able to go to 
Villeneuve l'Etang to superintend the arrangements. The 
old stables were turned into an immense kennel, paved with 
asphalte. A wide passage went from one end to the other, 
on each side of which accommodation for sixty dogs was 
arranged behind a double barrier of wire netting. 

The subject of hydrophobia goes back to the remotest 

240 



I884-I885 

antiquity ; one of Homer's warriors calls Hector a mad dog. 
The supposed allusions to it to be found in Hippocrates are 
of the vaguest, but Aristotle is quite explicit when speaking 
of canine rabies and of its transmission from one animal to 
the other through bites. He gives expression, however, to 
the singular opinion that man is not subject to it. More 
than three hundred years later we come to Celsus, who 
describes this disease, unknown or unnoticed until then. 
" The patient," said Celsus, " is tortured at the same time by 
thirst and by an invincible repulsion towards water." He 
counselled cauterization of the wound with a red-hot iron 
and also with various caustics and corrosives. 

Pliny the Elder, a worthy precursor of village quacks, 
recommended the livers of mad dogs as a cure ; it was not 
a successful one. Galen, who opposed this, had a no less 
singular recipe, a compound of cray-fish eyes. Later, the 
shrine of St. Hubert in Belgium was credited with miracu- 
lous cures ; this superstition is still extant. 

Sea bathing, unknown in France until the reign of Louis 
XIV, became a fashionable cure for hydrophobia, Dieppe 
sands being supposed to offer wonderful curing properties. 

In 1780 a prize was offered for the best method of 
treating hydrophobia, and won by a pamphlet entitled 
Dissertation sur la Rage^ written by a surgeon-major of 
the name of Le Roux. 

This very sensible treatise concluded by recommending 
cauterization, now long forgotten, instead of the various 
quack remedies which had so long been in vogue, and the 
use of butter of antimony. 

Le Roux did not allude in his paper to certain tena- 
cious and cruel prejudices, which had caused several 
hydrophobic persons, or persons merely suspected of hydro- 
phobia, to be killed like wild beasts, shot, poisoned, 
strangled, or suffocated. 

VOL. II. 241 R 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

It was supposed in some places that hydrophobia could be 
transmitted through the mere contact of the saliva or even 
by the breath of the victims ; people who had been bitten 
were in terror of what might be done to them. A girl, 
bitten by a mad dog and taken to the Hôtel Dieu Hospital 
on May 8, 1780, begged that she might not be suffocated ! 

Those dreadful occurrences must have been only too 
frequent, for, in 18 10, a philosopher asked the Government 
to enact a Bill in the following terms : "It is forbidden, 
under pain of death, to strangle, suffocate, bleed to death, 
or in any other way murder individuals suffering from 
rabies, hydrophobia, or any disease causing fits, convul- 
sions, furious and dangerous madness ; all necessary pre- 
cautions against them being taken by families or public 
authorities." 

In 18 1 9, newspapers related the death of an unfortunate 
hydrophobe, smothered between two mattresses ; it was 
said à propos of this murder that "it is the doctor's duty 
to repeat that this disease cannot be transmitted from man 
to man, and that there is therefore no danger in nursing 
hydrophobia patients." Though old and fantastic remedies 
were still in vogue in remote country places, cauterization 
was the most frequently employed; if the wounds were 
somewhat deep, it was recommended to use long, sharp and 
pointed needles, and to push them well in, even if the 
wound was on the face. 

One of Pasteur's childish recollections (it happened in 
October, 1831) was the impression of terror produced through- 
out the Jura by the advent of a rabid wolf who went biting 
men and beasts on his way. Pasteur had seen an Arboisian 
of the name of Nicole, being cauterized with a red-hot iron 
at the smithy near his father's house. The persons who 
had been bitten on the hands and head succumbed to hydro- 
phobia, some of them amidst horrible sufferings; there 

242 



I884-I885 

were eight victims in the immediate neighbourhood. 
Nicole was saved. For years the whole region remained 
in dread of that mad wolf. 

The long period of incubation encouraged people to 
hope that some preventive means might be found, instead 
of the painful operation of cauterization ; some doctors 
attempted inoculating another poison, a viper's venom for 
instance, to neutralize the rabic virus — needless to say with 
fatal results. 

In 1852 a reward was promised by the Government to 
the finder of a remedy against hydrophobia; all the old 
quackeries came to light again, even Galen's remedy of 
cray-fish eyes ! 

Bouchardat, who had to report to the Academy on these 
remedies, considered them of no value whatever ; his con- 
clusion was that cauterization was the only prophylactic 
treatment of hydrophobia. 

Such was also Bouley's opinion, eighteen years later, 
when he wrote that the object to keep in view was the 
quickest possible destruction of the tissues touched by 
rabietic saliva. Failing an iron heated to a light red heat, 
or the sprinkling of gunpowder over the wound and setting 
a match to it, he recommended caustics, such as nitric 
acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, potassa fusa, butter 
of antimony, corrosive sublimate, and nitrate of silver. 

Thus, after centuries had passed, and numberless 
remedies had been tried, no progress had been made, 
and nothing better had been found than cauterization, as 
indicated by Celsus in the first century. 

As to the origin of rabies, it remained unknown and was 
erroneously attributed to divers causes. Spontaneity was 
still believed in. Bouley himself did not absolutely reject 
the idea of it, for he said in 1870 : " In the immense majority 

243 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

of cases, this disease proceeds from contagion; out of i,ooo 
rabid dogs, 999 at least owe their condition to inoculation 
by a bite." 

Pasteur was anxious to uproot this fallacy, as also 
another very serious error, vigorously opposed by Bouley, 
by M. Nocard, and by another veterinary surgeon in a 
Manual on Rabies, published in 1882, and still as tenacious 
as most prejudices, viz., that the word hydrophobia is 
synonymous with rabies. The rabid dog is not hydrophobe, 
he does not abhor water. The word is applicable to rabid 
human beings, but is false concerning rabid dogs. 

Many people in the country, constantly seeing Pasteur's 
name associated with the word rabies, fancied that he was 
a consulting veterinary surgeon, and pestered him with 
letters full of questions. What was to be done to a dog 
whose manner seemed strange, though there was no 
evidence of a suspicious bite ? Should he be shot? " No," 
answered Pasteur, " shut him up securely, and he will soon 
die if he is really mad." Some dog owners hesitated to 
destroy a dog manifestly bitten by a mad dog. " It is 
such a good dog!" "The law is absolute," answered 
Pasteur ; " every dog bitten by a mad dog must be 
destroyed at once." And it irritated him that village 
mayors should close their eyes to the non-observance of 
the law, and thus contribute to a recrudescence of rabies. 

Pasteur wasted his precious time answering all those let- 
ters. On March 28, 1885, he wrote to his friend Jules Vercel — 

" Alas ! we shall not be able to go to Arbois for Easter ; 
I shall be busy for some time settling down, or rather 
settling my dogs down at Villeneuve l'Etang. I also have 
some new experiments on rabies on hand which will take 
some months. I am demonstrating this year that dogs can 
be vaccinated, or made refractory to rabies after they have 
been bitten by mad dogs. 

244 



I884-I885 

" I have not yet dared to treat human beings after bites 
from rabid dogs ; but the time is not far off, and I am much 
inclined to begin by myself — inoculating myself with 
rabies, and then arresting the consequences; for I am 
beginning to feel very sure of my results." 

Pasteur gave more details three days later, in a letter 
to his son, then Secretary of the French Embassy at the 
Quirinal — 

"The experiments before the Rabies Commission were 
resumed on March 10 ; they are now being carried out, 
and the Commission has already held six sittings ; the 
seventh will take place today. 

" As I only submit to it results which I look upon as 
acquired, this gives me a surplus of work to do ; for those 
control experiments are added to those I am now carrying 
out. For I am continuing my researches, trying to discover 
new principles, and hardening myself by habit and by 
increased conviction in order to attempt preventive inocu- 
lations on man after a bite. 

" The Commission's experiments have led to no result 
so far, for, as you know, weeks have to pass before any 
results occur. But no untoward incident has occurred up 
to now ; and if all continues equally well, the Commis- 
sion's second report will be as favourable as that of last 
year, which left nothing to be desired. 

" I am equally satisfied with my new experiments in this 
difficult study. Perhaps practical application on a large 
scale may not be far off . . ." 

In May, everything at Villeneuve l'Etang was ready for 
the reception of sixty dogs. Fifty of them, already made 
refractory to bites or rabic inoculation, were successively 
accommodated in the immense kennel, where each had his 
cell and his experiment number. They had been made 
refractory by being inoculated with fragments of medulla, 

245 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

which had hung for a fortnight in a phial, and of which 
the virulence was extinguished, after which further inocu- 
lations had been made, gradually increasing in virulence 
until the highest degree of it had again been reached. 

All those dogs, which were to be periodically taken 
back to Paris for inoculations or bite tests, in order to 
see what was the duration of the immunity conferred, 
were stray dogs picked up by the police. They were of 
various breeds, and showed every variety of character, 
some of them gentle and affectionate, others vicious and 
growling, some confiding, some shrinking, as if the recollec- 
tion of chloroform and the laboratory was disagreeable to 
them. They showed some natural impatience of their 
enforced captivity, only interrupted by a short daily run. 
One of them, however, was promoted to the post of house- 
dog, and loosened every night; he excited much envy 
among his congeners. The dogs were very well cared 
for by a retired gendarme, an excellent man of the name 
of Pernin. 

A lover of animals might have drawn an interesting 
contrast between the fate of those laboratory dogs, living 
and dying for the good of humanit}^, and that of the dogs 
buried in the neighbouring dogs' cemetery at Bagatelle, 
founded by Sir Richard Wallace, the great English 
philanthropist. Here lay toy dogs, lap dogs, drawing- 
room dogs, cherished and coddled during their useless lives, 
and luxuriously buried after their useless deaths, while 
the dead bodies of the others went to the knacker's yard. 

Rabbit hutches and guinea-pig cages leaned against the 
dogs' palace. Pasteur, having seen to the comfort of his 
animals, now thought of himself; it was frequently neces- 
sary that he should come to spend two or three days at 
Villeneuve l'Etang. The official architect thought of re- 
pairing part of the little palace of Villeneuve, which was 

246 



I884-I885 

in a very bad state of decay. But Pasteur preferred to 
have some rooms near the stables put into repair, which 
had formerly been used for non-commissioned officers of 
the Cent Gardes; there was less to do to them, and the 
position was convenient. The roof, windows, and doors 
were renovated, and some cheap paper hung on the walls 
inside. " This is certainly not luxurious ! " exclaimed an 
astonished millionaire, who came to see Pasteur one day 
on his way to his own splendid villa at Marly. 

On May 29 Pasteur wrote to his son — 

" I thought I should have done with rabies by the end of 
April ; I must postpone my hopes till the end of July. Yet 
I have not remained stationary; but, in these difficult 
studies, one is far from the goal as long as the last word, 
the last decisive proof is not acquired. What I aspire to 
is the possibility of treating a man after a bite with no 
fear of accidents. 

" I have never had so many subjects of experiment on 
hand — sixty dogs at Villeneuve l'Etang, forty at Rollin, 
ten at Frégis', fifteen at Bourrel's, and I deplore having no 
more kennels at my disposal. 

" What do you say of the Rue Pasteur in the large city 
of Lille? The news has given me very great pleasure." 

What Pasteur briefly called "Rollin " in this letter was 
the former Lycée Rollin, the old buildings of which had 
been transformed into outhouses for his laboratory. Large 
cages had been set up in the old courtyard, and the place 
was like a farm, with its population of hens, rabbits, and 
guinea-pigs. 

Two series of experiments were being carried out on 
those 125 dogs. The first consisted in making dogs refrac- 
tory to rabies by preventive inoculations ; the second in 
preventing the onset of rabies in dogs bitten or subjected 
to inoculation. 

247 



CHAPTER VI 

I 8 8 5-1 8 8 8 

PASTEUR had the power of concentrating his thoughts 
to such a degree that he often, when absorbed in one 
idea, became absolutely unconscious of what took place 
around him. At one of the meetings of the Académie 
Française, whilst the Dictionary was being discussed, he 
scribbled the following note on a stray sheet of paper — 

" I do not know how to hide my ideas from those who 
work with me ; still, I wish I could have kept those I am 
going to express a little longer to myself. The experi- 
ments have already begun which will decide them. 

" It concerns rabies, but the results might be general. 

" I am inclined to think that the virus which is con- 
sidered rabic may be accompanied by a substance which, 
by impregnating the nervous system, would make it unsuit- 
able for the culture of the microbe. Thence vaccinal 
immunity. If that is so, the theory might be a general 
one : it would be a stupendous discovery. 

" I have just met Chamberland in the Rue Gay-Lussac, 
and explained to him this view and my experiments. He 
was much struck, and asked my permission to make at 
once on anthrax the experiment I am about to make on 
rabies as soon as the dog and the culture rabbits are dead. 
Roux, the day before yesterday, was equally struck. 

^^ Académie Française y Thursday^ Jamtury 2()^ 1885." 

248 



I885-I888 

Could that vaccinal substance associated with the rabic 
virus be isolated ? In the meanwhile a main fact was 
acquired, that of preventive inoculation, since Pasteur was 
sure of his series of dogs rendered refractory to rabies after 
a bite. Months were going by without bringing an answer 
to the question " Why ?" of the antirabic vaccination, as 
mysterious as the " Why ?" of Jennerian vaccination. 

On the Monday, July 6, Pasteur saw a little Alsatian 
boy, Joseph Meister, enter his laboratory, accompanied by 
his mother. He was only nine years old, and had been 
bitten two days before by a mad dog at Meissengott, near 
Schlestadt. 

The child, going alone to school by a little by-road, had 
been attacked by a furious dog and thrown to the ground. 
Too small to defend himself, he had only thought of cover- 
ing his face with his hands. A bricklayer, seeing the 
scene from a distance, arrived, and succeeded in beating 
the dog off with an iron bar ; he picked up the boy, covered 
with blood and saliva. The dog went back to his master, 
Théodore Vone, a grocer at Meissengott, whom he bit on 
the arm. Vone seized a gun and shot the animal, whose 
stomach was found to be full of hay, straw, pieces of wood, 
etc. When little Meister's parents heard all these details 
they went, full of anxiety, to consult Dr. Weber, at Ville, 
that same evening. After cauterizing the wounds with 
carbolic. Dr. Weber advised Mme. Meister to start for 
Paris, where she could relate the facts to one who was 
not a physician, but who would be the best judge of what 
could be done in such a serious case. Théodore Vone, 
anxious on his own and on the child's account, decided to 
come also. 

Pasteur reassured him ; his clothes had wiped off the 
dog's saliva, and his shirt-sleeve was intact. He might 
safely go back to Alsace, and he promptly did so. 

249 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Pasteur's emotion was great at the sight of the fourteen 
wounds of the little boy, who suffered so much that he 
could hardly walk. What should he do for this child? 
could he risk the preventive treatment which had been 
constantly successful on his dogs? Pasteur was divided 
between his hopes and his scruples, painful in their acute- 
ness. Before deciding on a course of action, he made 
arrangements for the comfort of this poor woman and her 
child, alone in Paris, and gave them an appointment for 
5 o'clock, after the Institute meeting. He did not wish to 
attempt anything without having seen Vulpian and talked 
it over with him. Since the Rabies Commission had been 
constituted, Pasteur had formed a growing esteem for the 
great judgment of Vulpian, who, in his lectures on the 
general and comparativ^e physiology of the nervous system, 
had already mentioned the profit to human clinics to be 
drawn from experimenting on animals. 

His w^as a most prudent mind, always seeing all the 
aspects of a problem. The man was worthy of the scien- 
tist : he was absolutely straightforward, and of a discreet 
and active kindness. He was passionately fond of work, 
and had recourse to it when smitten by a deep sorrow. 

Vulpian expressed the opinion that Pasteur's experiments 
on dogs were sufficiently conclusive to authorize him to 
foresee the same success in human pathology. Why not 
try this treatment ? added the professor, usually so reserved. 
Was there any other efficacious treatment against hydro- 
phobia ? If at least the cauterizations had been made with 
a red-hot iron ! but what was the good of carbolic acid 
twelve hours after the accident. If the almost certain 
danger which threatened the boy were weighed against 
the chances of snatching him from death, Pasteur would 
see that it was more than a right, that it was a duty to 
apply antirabic inoculation to little Meister. 

250 



I885-I888 

This was also the opinion of Dr. Grancher, whom Pasteur 
consulted. M. Grancher worked at the laboratory ; he and 
Dr. Straus might claim to be the two first French physicians 
who took up the study of bacteriology ; these novel studies 
fascinated him, and he was drawn to Pasteur by the deepest 
admiration and by a strong affection, which Pasteur 
thoroughly reciprocated. 

Vulpian and M. Grancher examined little Meister in 
the evening, and, seeing the number of bites, some of which, 
on one hand especially, were very deep, they decided on 
performing the first inoculation immediately ; the substance 
chosen was fourteen days old and had quite lost its viru- 
lence : it was to be followed by further inoculations gradu- 
ally increasing in strength. 

It was a very slight operation, a mere injection into the 
side (by means of a Pravaz syringe) of a few drops of a 
liquid prepared with some fragments of medulla oblongata. 
The child, who cried very much before the operation, soon 
dried his tears when he found the slight prick was all 
that he had to undergo. 

Pasteur had had a bedroom comfortably arranged for the 
mother and child in the old Rollin College, and the little 
boy was very happy amidst the various animals — chickens, 
rabbits, white mice, guinea-pigs, etc. ; he begged and easily 
obtained of Pasteur the life of several of the youngest of 
them. 

"All is going well," Pasteur wrote to his son-in-law on 
July 11:" the child sleeps well, has a good appetite, and 
the inoculated matter is absorbed into the system from one 
day to another without leaving a trace. It is true that I 
have not yet come to the test inoculations, which will take 
place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If the lad 
keeps well during the three following weeks, I think the 
experiment will be safe to succeed. I shall send the child 

251 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

and his mother back to Meissengott (near Schlestadt) in any 
case on August i , giving these good people detailed instruc- 
tion as to the observations they are to record for me. I 
shall make no statement before the end of the vacation." 

But, as the inoculations v^ere becoming more virulent, 
Pasteur became a prey to anxiety: "My dear children," 
wrote Mme. Pasteur, " your father has had another bad 
night; he is dreading the last inoculations on the child. 
And yet there can be no drawing back now ! The boy 
continues in perfect health." 

Renewed hopes were expressed in the following letter 
from Pasteur — 

" My dear René, I think great things are coming to pass. 
Joseph Meister has just left the laboratory. The three last 
inoculations have left some pink marks under the skin, 
gradually widening and not at all tender. There is some 
action, which is becoming more intense as we approach the 
final inoculation, which will take place on Thursday, 
July i6. The lad is very well this morning, and has 
slept well, though slightly restless; he has a good appetite 
and no feverishness. He had a slight hysterical attack 
yesterday." 

The letter ended with an affectionate invitation. 
"Perhaps one of the great medical facts of the century 
is going to take place ; you would regret not having 
seen it ! " 

Pasteur was going through a succession of hopes, fears, 
anguish, and an ardent yearning to snatch little Meister 
from death ; he could no longer work. At nights, feverish 
visions came to him of this child whom he had seen playing 
in the garden, suffocating in the mad struggles of hydro- 
phobia, like the dying child he had seen at the Hôpital 
Trousseau in 1880. Vainly his experimental genius 
assured him that the virus of that most terrible of diseases 

252 



I 885- I 

was about to be vanquished, that humanity was about to 
be delivered from this dread horror — his human tenderness 
was stronger than all, his accustomed ready sympathy for 
the sufferings and anxieties of others was for the nonce 
centred in " the dear lad." 

The treatment lasted ten days; Meister was inoculated 
twelve times. The virulence of the medulla used was tested 
by trephinings on rabbits, and proved to be gradually 
stronger. Pasteur even inoculated on July 16, at 11 a.m., 
some medulla only one day old, bound to give hydrophobia 
to rabbits after only seven days' incubation; it was the 
surest test of the immunity and preservation due to the 
treatment. 

Cured from his wounds, delighted with all he saw, gaily 
running about as if he had been in his own Alsatian farm, 
little Meister, whose blue eyes now showed neither fear nor 
shyness, merrily received the last inoculation ; in the evening, 
after claiming a kiss from " Dear Monsieur Pasteur," as he 
called him, he went to bed and slept peacefully. Pasteur 
spent a terrible night of insomnia ; in those slow dark 
hours of night when all vision is distorted, Pasteur, losing 
sight of the accumulation of experiments which guaranteed 
his success, imagined that the little boy would die. 

The treatment being now completed, Pasteur left little 
Meister to the care of Dr. Grancher (the lad was not to 
return to Alsace until July 27) and consented to take 
a few days' rest. He spent them with his daughter in a 
quiet, almost deserted country place in Burgundy, but 
without however finding much restfulness in the beautiful 
peaceful scenery; he lived in constant expectation of 
Dr. Grancher' s daily telegram or letter containing news of 
Joseph Meister. 

By the time he went to the Jura, Pasteur's fears had 
almost disappeared. He wrote from Arbois to his son 

253 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

August 3, 1885: "Very good news last night of the 
bitten lad. I am looking forward with great hopes to the 
time when I can draw a conclusion. It will be thirty-one 
days tomorrow since he was bitten." 

On August 20, six weeks before the new elections of 
Deputies, Léon Say, Pasteur's colleague at the Académie 
Française, wrote to him that many Beauce agricultors 
were anxious to put his name down on the list of 
candidates, as a recognition of the services rendered by 
science. A few months before, Jules Simon had thought 
Pasteur might be elected as a Life Senator, but Pasteur had 
refused to be convinced. He now replied to Léon Say — 

" Your proposal touches me very much, and it would be 
agreeable to me to owe a Deputy's mandate to electors, 
several of whom have applied the results of my investiga- 
tions. But politics frighten me and I have already refused 
a candidature in the Jura and a seat in the Senate in the 
course of this year. 

" I might be tempted perhaps, if I no longer felt active 
enough for my laboratory work. But I still feel equal to 
further researches, and on my return to Paris, I shall be 
organizing a ' service ' against rabies which will absorb 
all my energies. I now possess a very perfect method of 
prophylaxis against that terrible disease, a method equally 
adapted to human beings and to dogs, and by which 
your much afflicted Department will be one of the first to 
benefit. 

" Before my departure for Jura I dared to treat a poor 
little nine-year-old lad whose mother brought him to me 
from Alsace, where he had been attacked on the 4th ult., 
and bitten on the thighs, legs, and hand in such a manner 
that hydrophobia would have been inevitable. He remains 
in perfect health." 

254 



I885-I888 

Whilst many political speeches were being prepared, 
Pasteur was thinking over a literary speech. He had 
been requested by the Académie Française to welcome 
Joseph Bertrand, elected in place of J. B. Dumas — the 
eulogium of a scientist, spoken by one scientist, himself 
welcomed by another scientist. This was an unusual 
programme for the Académie Française, perhaps too 
unusual in the eyes of Pasteur, who did not think himself 
worthy of speaking in the name of the Académie. Such 
was his modesty ; he forgot that amongst the savants who 
had been members of the Académie, several, such as 
Fontenelle, Cuvier, J. B. Dumas, etc., had published 
immortal pages, and that some extracts from his own 
works would one day become classical. 

The vacation gave him time to read over the writings of 
his beloved teacher, and also to study the life and works of 
Joseph Bertrand, already his colleague at the Académie 
des Sciences. 

Bertrand's election had been simple and easy, like every- 
thing he had undertaken since his birth. It seemed as if a 
good fairy had leant over his cradle and whispered to him, 
" Thou shalt know many things, without having had to 
learn them." It is a fact that he could read without 
having held a book in his hands. He was ill and in bed 
whilst his brother Alexander was being taught to read ; he 
listened to the lessons and kept the various combinations of 
letters in his mind. When he became convalescent, his 
parents brought him a book of Natural History so that he 
might look at the pictures. He took the volume and 
read from it fluently; he was not five years old. He 
learnt the elements of geometry very much in the 
same way. 

Pasteur in his speech thus described Joseph Bertrand's 
childhood : " At ten years old you were already celebrated, 

255 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

and it was prophesied that you would pass at the head 
of the list into the Ecole Polytechnique and become a 
member of the Academy of Science. No one doubted this, 
not even yourself. You were indeed a child prodigy. 
Sometimes it amused you to hide in a class of higher 
mathematics, and when the Professor propounded a difficult 
problem that no one could solve, one of the students would 
triumphantly lift you in his arms, stand you on a chair so 
that you might reach the board, and you would then give 
the required solution with a calm assurance, in the midst of 
applause from the professors and pupils." 

Pasteur, whose every progress had been painfully 
acquired, admired the ease with which Bertrand had passed 
through the first stages of his career. At an age when 
marbles and indiarubber balls are usually an important 
interest, Bertrand walked merrily to the Jardin des Plantes 
to attend a course of lectures by Gay-Lussac. A few hours 
later, he might be seen at the Sorbonne, listening with 
interest to Saint Marc Girardin, the literary moralist. The 
next day, he would go to a lecture on Comparative 
Legislation; never was so young a child seen in such 
serious places. He borrowed as many books from the 
Institute library as Biot himself; he learnt whole passages 
by heart, merely by glancing at them. He became a 
doctor es scieitces at sixteen, and a Member of the Institute 
at thirty-four. 

Besides his personal works — such as those on Analytic 
Mechanics, which place him in the very first rank — his 
teaching had been brought to bear during forty years on 
all branches of mathematics. Bertrand's life, apparently so 
happy, had been saddened by the irreparable loss, during 
the Commune, of a great many precious notes, letters, and 
manuscripts, which had been burnt with the house where 
he had left them. Discouraged by this ruin of ten years' 

256 



I 885-1 888 

work, he had given way to a tendency to writing slight 
popular articles, of high literary merit, instead of continuing 
his deeper scientific work. His eulogy of J. B. Dumas 
was not quite seriously enthusiastic enough to please 
Pasteur, who had a veritable cult for the memory of his 
old teacher, and who eagerly grasped this opportunity of 
speaking again of J. B. Dumas' influence on himself, of his 
admirable scientific discoveries, and of his political duties, 
undertaken in the hope of being useful to Science, but often 
proving a source of disappointment. 

Pasteur enjoyed looking back on the beloved memory of 
J. B. Dumas, as he sat preparing his speech in his study at 
Arbois, looking out on the familiar landscape of his child- 
hood, where the progress of practical science was evidenced 
by the occasional passing, through the distant pine woods, 
of the white smoke of the Switzerland express. 

When in his laboratory in Paris, Pasteur hated to be 
disturbed whilst making experiments or writing out notes 
of his work. Any visitor was unwelcome ; one day that 
some one was attempting to force his way in, M. Roux 
was amused at seeing Pasteur — vexed at being disturbed 
and anxious not to pain the visitor — come out to say im- 
ploringly, "Oh ! not now, please ! I am too busy ! " 

"When Chamberland and I," writes Dr. Roux, "were 
engaged in an interesting occupation, he mounted guard 
before us, and when, through the glazed doors, he saw people 
coming, he himself would go and meet them in order to send 
them away. He showed so artlessly that his sole thought 
was for the work, that no one ever could be offended." 

But, at Arbois, where he only spent his holidays, he did 
not exercise so much severity ; any one could come in who 
liked. He received in the morning a constant stream of 
visitors, begging for advice, recommendations, interviews, 
etc. 

VOL. II. 257 s 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

'' It is both comical and touching," wrote M. Girard, a 
local journalist, " to see the opinion the vineyard labourers 
have of him. These good people have heard M. Pasteur's 
name in connection with the diseases of wine, and they 
look upon him as a sort of wine doctor. If they notice a 
barrel of wine getting sour, they knock at the savant's 
door, bottle in hand; this door is never closed to them. 
Peasants are not precise in their language ; they do not 
know how to begin their explanations or how to finish them. 
M. Pasteur, ever calm and serious, listens to the very end, 
takes the bottle and studies it at his leisure. A week later, 
the wine is ' cured.' " 

He was consulted also on many other subjects — virus, 
silkworms, rabies, cholera, swine-fever, etc. ; many took 
him for a physician. Whilst telling them of their mistake, 
he y-et did everything he could for them. 

During this summer of 1885, he had the melancholy joy 
of seeing a bust erected in the village of Monay to the 
memory of a beloved friend of his, J. J. Perraud, a great 
and inspired sculptor, who had died in 1876. Perraud, 
whose magnificent statue of Despair is now at the Louvre, 
had had a sad life, and, on his lonely death-bed (he was a 
widower, with no children), Pasteur's tender sympathy 
had been an unspeakable comfort. Pasteur now took a 
leading part in the celebration of his friend's fame, and 
was glad to speak to the assembled villagers at Monay of 
the great and disinterested artist who had been born in their 
midst. 

On his return to Paris, Pasteur found himself obliged to 
hasten the organization of a " service " for the preventive 
treatment of hydrophobia after a bite. The Mayor of 
Villers-Farlay, in the Jura, wrote to him that, on October 14, 
a shepherd had been cruell}^ bitten by a rabid dog. 

258 



I885-I888 

Six little shepherd boys were watching over their sheep 
in a meadow ; suddenly they saw a large dog passing along 
the road, with hanging, foaming jaws. 

"A mad dog!" they exclaimed. The dog, seeing the 
children, left the road and charged them ; they ran away 
shrieking, but the eldest of them, J. B. Jupille, fourteen 
years of age, bravely turned back in order to protect the 
flight of his comrades. Armed with his whip, he con- 
fronted the infuriated animal, who flew at him and seized 
his left hand. Jupille wrestling with the dog, succeeded in 
kneeling on him, and forcing its jaws open in order to 
disengage his left hand ; in so doing, his right hand was 
seriously bitten in its turn ; finally, having been able to get 
hold of the animal by the neck, Jupille called to his little 
brother to pick up his whip, which had fallen during the 
struggle, and securely fastened the dog's jaws with the lash. 
He then took his wooden sabot ^ with which he battered the 
dog's head, after which, in order to be sure that it could do no 
further harm, he dragged the body down to a little stream 
in the meadow, and held the head under water for several 
minutes. Death being now certain, and all danger removed 
from his comrades, Jupille returned to Villers-Farlay. 

Whilst the boy's wounds were being bandaged, the dog's 
carcase was fetched, and a necropsy took place the next 
day. The two veterinary surgeons who examined the body 
had not the slightest hesitation in declaring that the dog 
was rabid. 

The Mayor of Villers-Farlay, who had been to see 
Pasteur during the summer, wrote to tell him that this lad 
would die a victim 01 his own courage unless the new 
treatment intervened. The answer came immediately : 
Pasteur declared that, after five years' study, he had 
succeeded in making dogs refractory to rabies, even six or 
eight days after being bitten ; that he had only once yet 

259 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

applied his method to a human being, but that once with 
success, in the case of little Meister, and that, if Jupille's 
family consented, the boy might be sent to him. " I shall 
keep him near me in a room of my laboratory ; he will be 
watched and need not go to bed ; he will merely receive a 
daily prick, not more painful than a pin-prick." 

The family, on hearing this letter, came to an immediate 
decision ; but, between the day when he was bitten and 
Jupille's arrival in Paris, six whole days had elapsed, whilst 
in Meister' s case there had only been two and a half ! 

Yet, however great were Pasteur's fears for the life of 
this tall lad, who seemed quite surprised when congratulated 
on his courageous conduct, they were not what they had 
been in the first instance — he felt much greater confidence. 

A few d3.js later, on October 26, Pasteur in a statement 
at the Academy of Sciences described the treatment followed 
for Meister. Three months and three days had passed, and 
the child remained perfectly well. Then he spoke of his 
new attempt. Vulpian rose — 

" The Academy will not be surprised," he said, "if, as a 
member of the Medical and Surgical Section, I ask to be 
allowed to express the feelings of admiration inspired in 
me b}^ M. Pasteur's statement. I feel certain that those 
feelings will be shared b}^ the whole of the medical pro- 
fession. 

" Hydrophobia, that dread disease against which all 
therapeutic measures had hitherto failed, has at last found 
a remedy. M. Pasteur, who has been preceded by no one 
in this path, has been led, by a series of investigations 
unceasingly carried on for several years, to create a method 
of treatment, by means of which the development of hydro- 
phobia can infallibly be prevented in a patient recently 
bitten by a rabid dog. I say infallibly, because, after what 
I have seen in M. Pasteur's laboratory, I do not doubt tlie 

260 



I885-I888 

constant success of this treatment when it is put into full 
practice a few days only after a rabic bite. 

" It is now necessary to see about organizing an installation 
for the treatment of hydrophobia by M. Pasteur's method. 
Every person bitten by a rabid dog must be given the 
opportunity of benefiting by this great discovery, which 
will seal the fame of our illustrious colleague and bring 
glory to our whole country." 

Pasteur had ended his reading by a touching description 
of Jupille's action, leaving the Assembly under the im- 
pression of that boy of fourteen, sacrificing himself to save 
his companions. An Academician, Baron Larrey, whose 
authority was rendered all the greater by his calmness, 
dignity, and moderation, rose to speak. After acknowledg- 
ing the importance of Pasteur's discovery, Larrey continued, 
" The sudden inspiration, agility and courage, with which 
the ferocious dog was muzzled, and thus made incapable of 
committing further injury to bystanders, . . . such an act 
of bravery deserves to be rewarded. I therefore have the 
honour of begging the Académie des Sciences to recommend 
to the Académie Française this young shepherd, who, by 
giving such a generous example of courage and devotion, 
has well deserved a Montyon prize. 

Bouley, then chairman of the Academy, rose to speak in 
his turn — 

" We are entitled to say that the date of the present 
meeting will remain for ever memorable in the history of 
medicine, and glorious for French science; for it is that 
of one of the greatest steps ever accomplished in the 
medical order of things — a progress realized by the dis- 
covery of an efficacious means of preventive treatment 
for a disease, the incurable nature of which was a legacy 
handed down by one century to another. From this day, 
humanity is armed with a means of fighting the fatal 

261 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

disease of hydrophobia and of preventing its onset. It is 
to M. Pasteur that we owe this, and we could not feel too 
much admiration or too much gratitude for the efforts on 
his part which have led to such a magnificent result. ..." 

Five years previously, Bouley, in the annual combined 
public meeting of the five Academies, had proclaimed his 
enthusiasm for the discovery of the vaccination of anthrax. 
But on hearing him again on this October day, in 1885, 
his colleagues could not but be painfully struck by the 
change in him ; his voice was weak, his face thin and pale. 
He was dying of an affection of the heart, and quite aware 
of it, but he was sustained by a wonderful energy, and 
ready to forget his sufferings in his joy at the thought that 
the sum of human sorrows would be diminished by 
Pasteur's victory. He went to the Académie de Médecine 
the next day to enjoy the echo of the great sitting of the 
Académie des Sciences. He died on November 29. 

The chairman of the Academy of Medicine, M. Jules 
Bergeron, applauded Pasteur's statement all the more that 
he too had publicly deplored (in 1862) the impotence of 
medical science in the presence of this cruel disease. 

But while M. Bergeron shared the admiration felt by Vulpian 
and Dr. Grancher for the experiments which had trans- 
formed the rabic virus into its own vaccine, other medical 
men were divided into several categories: some were 
full of enthusiasm, others reserved their opinion, many 
were sceptical, and a few even positively hostile. 

As soon as Pasteur's paper was published, people bitten 
by rabid dogs began to arrive from all sides to the 
laboratory. The "service" of hydrophobia became the 
chief business of the day. Every morning was spent by 
Eugène Viala in preparing the fragments of marrow used 
for inoculations: in a little room permanently kept at a 
temperature of 20° to 23° C, stood rows of sterilized flasks, 

262 



I885-I888 

their tubular openings closed by plugs of cotton-wool. 
Each flask contained a rabic marrow, hanging from the 
stopper by a thread and gradually drying up by the action 
of some fragments of caustic potash lying at the bottom of 
the flask. Viala cut those marrows into small pieces by 
means of scissors previously put through a flame, and 
placed them in small sterilized glasses ; he then added a 
few drops of veal broth and pounded the mixture with a 
glass rod. The vaccinal liquid was now ready ; each glass 
was covered with a paper cover, and bore the date of the 
medulla used, the earliest of which was fourteen days old. 
For each patient under treatment from a certain date, 
there was a whole series of little glasses. Pasteur always 
attended these operations personally. 

In the large hall of the laboratory, Pasteur's collaborators, 
Messrs. Chamberland and Roux, carried on investigations 
into contagious diseases under the master's directions ; the 
place was full of flasks, pipets, phials, containing culture 
broths. Etienne Wasserzug, another curator, hardly more 
than a boy, fresh from the Ecole Normale, where his bright 
intelligence and affectionate heart had made him very popu- 
lar, translated (for he knew the English, German, Italian, 
Hungarian and Spanish languages, and was awaiting a 
favourable opportunity of learning Russian) the letters 
which arrived from all parts of the world ; he also enter- 
tained foreign scientists. Pasteur had in him a most 
valuable interpreter. Physicians came from all parts of 
the world asking to be allowed to study the details of the 
method. One morning. Dr. Grancher found Pasteur 
listening to a physician who was gravely and solemnly 
holding forth his objections to microbian doctrines, and 
in particular to the treatment of hydrophobia. Pasteur 
having heard this long monologue, rose and said, " Sir, 
your language is not very intelligible to me. I am not a 

263 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

physician and do not desire to be one. Never speak to me 
of your dogma of morbid spontaneity. I am a chemist ; I 
carry out experiments and I try to understand what they 
teach me. What do you think, doctor ?" he added, turning 
to M. Grancher. The latter smilingly answered that the 
hour for inoculations had struck. They took place at 
eleven, in Pasteur's study; he standing by the open 
door, called out the names of the patients. The date and 
circumstances of the bites and the veterinary surgeon's 
certificate were entered in a register, and the patients were 
divided into series according to the degree of virulence 
which was to be inoculated on each day of the period of 
treatment. 

Pasteur took a personal interest in each of his patients, 
helping those who were poor and illiterate to find suitable 
lodgings in the great capital. Children especially inspired 
him with a loving solicitude. But his pity was mingled 
with terror, when, on November 9, a little girl of ten was 
brought to him who had been severely bitten on the head by 
a mountain dog, on October 3, thirty-seven days before ! ! 
The wound was still suppurating. He said to himself, 
"This is a hopeless case: hydrophobia is no doubt about to 
appear immediately ; it is much too late for the preventive 
treatment to have the least chance of success. Should I 
not, in the scientific interest of the method, refuse to treat 
this child ? If the issue is fatal, all those who have already 
been treated will be frightened, and many bitten persons, 
discouraged from coming to the laboratory, may succumb 
to the disease ! " These thoughts rapidly crossed Pasteur's 
mind. But he found himself unable to resist his compas- 
sion for the father and mother, begging him to try and 
save their child. 

After the treatment was over, Louise Pelletier had 
returned to school, when fits of breathlessness appeared, 

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soon followed by convulsive spasms; she could swallow 
nothing. Pasteur hastened to her side when these 
symptoms began, and new inoculations were attempted. 
On December 2, there was a respite of a few hours, 
moments of calm which inspired Pasteur with the vain 
hope that she might yet be saved. This delusion was a 
short-lived one. After attending Bouley's funeral, his 
heart full of sorrow, Pasteur spent the day by little Louise's 
bedside, in her parents' rooms in the Rue Dauphine. He 
could not tear himself away ; she herself, full of affection 
for him, gasped out a desire that he should not go away, 
that he should stay with her ! She felt for his hand be- 
tween two spasms. Pasteur shared the grief of the father 
and mother. When all hope had to be abandoned : " I did 
so wish I could have saved your little one !" he said. And 
as he came down the staircase, he burst into tears. 

He was obliged, a few days later, to preside at the recep- 
tion of Joseph Bertrand at the Académie Française ; his 
sad feelings little in harmony with the occasion. He read 
in a mournful and troubled voice the speech he had prepared 
during his peaceful and happy holidays at Arbois. Henry 
Houssaye, reporting on this ceremony in the Journal de 
DébatSy wrote, "M. Pasteur ended his speech amidst a 
torrent of applause, he received a veritable ovation. He 
seemed unaccountably moved. How can M. Pasteur, who 
has received every mark of admiration, every supreme 
honour, whose name is consecrated by universal renown, 
still be touched by ^anything save the discoveries of his 
powerful genius." People did not realize that Pasteur's 
thoughts were far away from himself and from his brilliant 
discovery. He was thinking of Dumas, his master, of 
Bouley, his faithful friend and colleague, and of the child 
he had been unable to snatch from the jaws of death ; his 
mind was not with the living, but with the dead. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

A telegram from New York having announced that four 
children, bitten by rabid dogs, were starting for Paris, many- 
adversaries who had heard of Louise Pelletier 's death were 
saying triumphantly that, if those children's parents had 
known of her fate, they would have spared them so long 
and useless a journey. 

The four little Americans belonged to workmen's 
families and were sent to Paris by means of a public sub- 
scription opened in the columns of the New York Herald ; 
they were accompanied by a doctor and by the mother of 
the youngest of them, a boy only five years old. After the 
first inoculation, this little boy, astonished at the insigni- 
ficant prick, could not help saying, "Is this all we have 
come such a long journey for ? " The children were received 
with enthusiasm on their return to New York, and were 
asked " many questions about the great man who had taken 
such care of them." 

A letter dated from that time (January 14, 1886) shows 
that Pasteur yet found time for kindness, in the midst of his 
world-famed occupations. 

" My dear Jupille, I have received your letters, and I am 
much pleased with the news you give me of your health. 
Mme. Pasteur thanks you for remembering her. She, and 
every one at the laboratory, join with me in wishing that 
you may keep well and improve as much as possible in 
reading, writing and arithmetic. Your writing is already 
much better than it was, but you should take some pains 
with your spelling. Where do you go to school? Who 
teaches you? Do you work at home as much as you 
might ? You know that Joseph Meister, who was first to 
be vaccinated, often writes to me; well, I think he is 
improving more quickly than you are, though he is only 
ten years old. So, mind you take pains, do not waste your 
time with other boys, and listen to the advice of your 

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I885-I888 

teachers, and of your father and mother. Remember me 
to M. Perrot, the Mayor of Villers-Farlay. Perhaps, with- 
out him, you would have become ill, and to be ill of 
hydrophobia means inevitable death; therefore you owe 
him much gratitude. Good-bye. Keep well." 

Pasteur's solicitude did not confine itself to his two first 
patients, Joseph Meister and the fearless Jupille, but was 
extended to all those who had come under his care; his 
kindness was like a living flame. The very little ones who 
then only saw in him a " kind gentleman " bending over 
them, understood later in life, when recalling the sweet 
smile lighting up his serious face, that Science, thus under- 
stood, unites moral with intellectual grandeur. 

Good, like evil, is infectious ; Pasteur's science and 
devotion inspired an act of generosity which was to be 
followed by many others. He received a visit from one of 
his colleagues at the Académie Française, Edouard Hervé, 
who looked upon journalism as a great responsibility and 
as a school of mutual respect between adversaries. He 
was bringing to Pasteur, from the Comte de Laubespin, a 
generous philanthropist, a sum of 40,000 fr. destined to 
meet the expenses necessitated by the organization of the 
hydrophobia treatment. Pasteur, when questioned by 
Hervé, answered that his intention was to found a model 
establishment in Paris, supported by donations and inter- 
national subscriptions, without having recourse to the State. 
But he added that he wanted to wait a little longer until the 
success of the treatment was undoubted. Statistics came 
to support it ; Bouley, who had been entrusted with an 
official inquiry on the subject under the Empire, had found 
that the proportion of deaths after bites from rabid dogs 
had been 40 per 100, 320 cases having been watched. The 
proportion often was greater still : whilst Joseph Meister 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

was under Pasteur's care, five persons were bitten by a 
rabid dog on the Pantin Road, near Paris, and every one of 
them succumbed to hydrophobia. 

Pasteur, instead of referring to Bouley's statistics, pre- 
ferred to adopt those of M. Leblanc, a veterinary surgeon 
and a member of the Academy of Medicine, who had for a 
long time been head of the sanitary department of the 
Préfecture de Police. These statistics only gave a propor- 
tion of deaths of i6 per loo, and had been carefully and 
accurately kept. 

On March i , he was able to affirm, before the Academy, 
that the new method had given proofs of its merit, for, out 
of 350 persons treated, only one death had taken place, that 
of the little Pelletier. He concluded thus — 

" It may be seen, by comparison with the most rigorous 
statistics, that a very large number of persons have already 
been saved from death. 

" The prophylaxis of hydrophobia after a bite is estab- 
lished. 

"It is advisable to create a vaccinal institute against 
hydrophobia." 

The Academy of Science appointed a Commission who 
unanimously adopted the suggestion that an establishment 
for the preventive treatment of hydrophobia after a bite 
should be created in Paris, under the name of Institut 
Pasteur. A subscription was about to be opened in France 
and abroad. The spending of the funds would be directed 
by a special Committee. 

A great wave of enthusiasm and generosity swept from 
one end of France to another and reached foreign countries. 
A newspaper of Milan, the Perseveransa, which had opened 
a subscription, collected 6,000 fr. in its first list. The 
Journal d'Alsace headed a propaganda in favour of this 
work, " sprung from Science and Charity." It reminded its 

268 



I885-I888 

readers that Pasteur had occupied a professor's chair in 
the former brilliant Faculty of Science of Strasburg, and 
that his first inoculation was made on an Alsatian boy, 
Joseph Meister. The newspaper intended to send the sub- 
scriptions to Pasteur with these words: "Offerings from 
Alsace-Lorraine to the Pasteur Institute." 

The war of 1870 still darkened the memories of nations. 
Amongst eager and numerous inventions of instruments of 
death and destruction, humanity breathed when fresh 
news came from the laboratory, where a continued 
struggle was taking place against diseases. The most 
mysterious, the most cruel of all was going to be reduced to 
impotence. 

Yet the method was about to meet with a few more 
cases like Louise Pelletier's ; accidents would result, either 
from delay or from exceptionally serious wounds. Happy 
days were still in store for those who sowed doubt and 
hatred. 

During the early part of March, Pasteur received nine- 
teen Russians, coming from the province of Smolensk. 
They had been attacked by a rabid wolf and most of them 
had terrible wounds : one of them, a priest, had been 
surprised by the infuriated beast as he was going into 
church, his upper lip and right cheek had been torn off, 
his face was one gaping wound. Another, the youngest 
of them, had had the skin of his forehead torn off by the 
wolf's teeth ; other bites were like knife cuts. Five of 
these unhappy wretches were in such a condition that they 
had to be carried to the Hôtel Dieu hospital as soon as they 
arrived. 

The Russian doctor who had accompanied these mujiks 
related how the wolf had wandered for two days and two 
nights, tearing to pieces every one he met, and how he had 

269 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

finally been struck down with an axe by one of those he 
had bitten most severely. 

Because of the gravity of the wounds, and in order to 
make up for the time lost by the Russians before they 
started, Pasteur decided on making two inoculations every 
day, one in the morning and one in the evening ; the patients 
at the Hôtel Dieu could be inoculated upon at the hospital. 

The fourteen others came every morning in their 
touloupes and fur caps, with their wounds bandaged, and 
joined without a word the motley groups awaiting treat- 
ment at the laboratory — an English family, a Basque 
peasant, a Hungarian in his national costume, etc., etc. 

In the evening, the dumb and resigned band of mujiks 
came again to the laboratory door. They seemed led by 
Fate, heedless of the struggle between life and death of 
which they were the prize. " Pasteur " was the only 
French word they knew, and their set and melancholy 
faces brightened in his presence as with a ray of hope and 
gratitude. 

Their condition was the more alarming that a whole 
fortnight had elapsed between their being bitten and the 
date of the first inoculations. Statistics were terrifying as 
to the results of wolf-bites, the average proportion of deaths 
being 82 per 100. General anxiety and excitement pre- 
vailed concerning the hapless Russians, and the news of 
the death of three of them produced an intense emotion. 

Pasteur had unceasingly continued his visits to the 
Hôtel Dieu. He was overwhelmed with grief. His con- 
fidence in his method was in no wise shaken, the general 
results would not allow it. But questions of statistics 
were of little account in his eyes when he was the witness 
of a misfortune ; his charity was not of that kind which 
is exhausted by collective generalities: each individual 
appealed to his heart. As he passed through the wards at 

270 



I 885- I 888 

the Hôtel Dieu, each "patient in his bed inspired him with 
deep compassion. And that is why so many who only saw 
him pass, heard his voice, met his pitiful eyes resting on 
them, have preserved of him a memory such as the poor 
had of St. Vincent de Paul. 

"The other Russians are keeping well so far," declared 
Pasteur at the Academy sitting of April 12, 1886. Whilst 
certain opponents in France continued to discuss the three 
deaths and apparently saw nought but those failures, the 
return of the sixteen survivors was greeted with an almost 
religious emotion. Other Russians had come before them 
and were saved, and the Tsar, knowing these things, 
desired his brother, the Grand Duke Vladimir, to bring to 
Pasteur an imperial gift, the Cross of the Order of St. Anne 
of Russia, in diamonds. He did more, he gave 100,000 fr. in 
aid of the proposed Pasteur Institute. 

In April, 1886, the English Government, seeing the 
practical results of the method for the prophylaxis of 
hydrophobia, appointed a Commission to study and verify 
the facts. Sir James Paget was the president of it, and the 
other members were : — Dr. Lauder-Brunton, Mr. Fleming, 
Sir Joseph Lister, Dr. Quain, Sir Henry Roscoe, Professor 
Burdon Sanderson, and Mr. Victor Horsley, secretary. 
The résumé of the programme was as follows — 

Development of the rabic virus in the medulla oblongata 
of animals dying of rabies. 

Transmission of this virus by subdural or subcutaneous 
inoculation. 

Intensification of this virus by successive passages from 
rabbit to rabbit. 

Possibility either of protecting healthy animals from 
ulterior bites from rabid animals, or of preventing the 
onset of rabies in animals already bitten, by means of 
vaccinal inoculations. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Applications of this method to man and value of its 
results. 

Burdon Sanderson and Horsley came to Paris, and two 
rabbits, inoculated on by Pasteur, were taken to England ; a 
series of experiments was to be begun on them, and an 
inquiry was to take place afterwards concerning patients 
treated both in France and in England. Pasteur, who lost 
his temper at prejudices and ill-timed levity, approved and 
solicited inquiry and careful examination. 

Long lists of subscribers appeared in the Journal Officiel — 
millionaires, poor workmen, students, women, etc. A great 
festival was organized at the Trocadéro in favour of the 
Pasteur Institute ; the greatest artistes offered their services. 
Coquelin recited verses written for the occasion which 
excited loud applause from the immense audience. Gounod, 
who had conducted his Ave Maria, turned round after the 
closing bars, and, in an impulse of heartfelt enthusiasm, 
kissed both his hands to the savant. 

In the evening at a banquet, Pasteur thanked his 
colleagues and the organizers of this incomparable per- 
formance. "Was it not," he said, " a touching sight, that 
of those immortal composers, those great charmers of 
fortunate humanity coming to the assistance of those who 
wish to study and to serve suffering humanity ? And you 
too come, great artistes, great actors, like so many generals 
re-entering the ranks to give greater vigour to a common 
feeling. I cannot easily describe what I felt. Dare I 
confess that I was hearing most of you for the first time ? 
I do not think I have spent more than ten evenings of my 
whole life at a theatre. But I can have no regrets now 
that you have given me, in a few hours' interval, as in 
an exquisite synthesis, the feelings that so many others 
scatter over several months, or rather several years." 

A few days later, the subscription from Alsace-Lorraine 

272 



I 885-1 888 

brought in 43,000 fr. Pasteur received it with grateful 
emotion, and was pleased and touched to find the name 
of little Joseph Meister among the list of private sub- 
scribers. It was now eleven months since he had been 
bitten so cruelly by the dog, whose rabic condition had 
immediately been recognized by the German authorities. 
Pasteur ever kept a corner of his heart for the boy who had 
caused him such anxiety. 

Pasteur's name was now familiar to all those who were 
trying to benefit humanity; his presence at charitable 
gatherings was considered as a happy omen, and he was 
asked to preside on many such occasions. He was ever 
ready with his help and sympathy, speaking in public, an- 
swering letters from private individuals, giving wholesome 
advice to young people who came to him for it, and doing 
nothing by halves. If he found the time, even during that 
period when the study of rabies was absorbing him, to 
undertake so many things and to achieve so many tasks, 
he owed it to Mme. Pasteur, who watched over his peace, 
keeping him safe from intrusions and interruptions. This 
retired, almost recluse life, enabled him to complete many 
works, a few of which would have sufficed to make several 
scientists celebrated. 

Every morning, between ten and eleven o'clock, Pasteur 
walked down the Rue Claude-Bernard to the Rue Vauquelin, 
where a few temporary buildings had been erected to 
facilitate the treatment of hydrophobia, close to the rabbit 
hutches, hen-coops, and dog kennels which occupied the 
yard of the old Collège Rollin. The patients under treat- 
ment walked about cheerfully amidst these surroundings, 
looking like holiday makers in a Zoological Garden. 
Children, whose tears were already dried at the second 
inoculation, ran about merrily. Pasteur, who loved the 

VOL. II. 273 T 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

little ones, always kept sweets or new copper coins for 
them in his drawer. One little girl amused herself by 
having holes bored in those coins, and hung them round 
her neck like a necklace ; she was wearing this ornament 
on the day of her departure, when she ran to kiss the great 
man as she would have kissed her grandfather. 

Drs. Grancher, Roux, Chantemesse, and Charrin came 
by turns to perform the inoculations. A surgery ward 
had been installed to treat the numerous wounds of the 
patients, and entrusted to the young and energetic Dr. 
Terrillon. 

In August, 1886, while sta3ang at Arbois, Pasteur spent 
much time over his notes and registers ; he was sometimes 
tempted to read over certain articles of passionate criticism. 
"How difficult it is to obtain the triumph of truth! " he 
would say. " Opposition is a useful stimulant, but bad faith 
is such a pitiable thing. How is it that they are not struck 
with the results as shown by statistics ? From 1880 to 1885, 
sixty persons are stated to have died of hydrophobia in 
the Paris hospitals; well, since November i, 1885, when 
the prophylactic method was started in my laboratory, only 
three deaths have occurred in those hospitals, two of which 
were cases which had not been treated. It is evident that 
very few people who had been bitten did not come to be 
treated. In France, out of that unknown but very 
restricted number, seventeen cases of death have been 
noted, whilst out of the 1,726 French and Algerians who 
came to the laboratory only ten died after the treatment." 

But Pasteur was not yet satisfied with this proportion, 
already so low ; he was trying to forestall the outburst of 
hydrophobia by a greater rapidity and intensity of the treat- 
ment. He read a paper on the subject to the Academy of 
Science on November 2, 1886. Admiral Jurien de la 
Gravie re, who was in the chair, said to him, " All great 

274 



i885-i888 

discoveries have gone through a time of trial. May your 
health withstand the troubles and difficulties in your 
way." 

Pasteur's health had indeed suffered from so much work 
and anxiety, and there were symptoms of some heart 
trouble. .Drs. Villemin and Grancher persuaded him to 
interrupt his work and to think of spending a restful 
winter in the south of France. M. Raphael Bischoffsheim, 
a great lover of science, placed at Pasteur's disposal his 
beautiful villa at Bordighera, close to the French frontier, 
which he had on divers occasions lent to other distinguished 
guests, the Queen of Italy, Henri Sainte-Claire Deville, 
Gambetta, etc. 

Pasteur consented to leave his work at the end of 
November, and started one evening from the Gare de Lyon 
with his wife, his daughter and her husband, and his two 
grandchildren ; eighteen friends came to the station to see 
him off, including his pupils, M. Bischoffsheim, and some 
foreign physicians, who were staying in Paris to study 
the prophylactic treatment of hydrophobia. 

The bright dawn and the sunshine already appearing at 
Avignon contrasted with the foggy November weather left 
behind in Paris and brought a feeling of comfort, almost of 
returning health ; a delegation of doctors met the train at 
Nice, bringing Pasteur their good wishes. 

The travelling party drove from Vintimille to Bordighera 
under the de^^p blue sky reflected in a sea of a yet deeper 
blue, along a road bordered with cacti, palms and other 
tropical plants. The sight of the lovely gardens of the 
Villa Bischoffsheim gave Pasteur a delicious feeling of rest. 

His health soon improved sufficiently for him to be able 
to take some short walks. But his thoughts constantly 
recurred to the laboratory. M. Duclaux was then thinking 
of starting a monthly periodical entitled Annals of the 

275 



THE LIFEf OF PASTEUR 

Pasteur Institute. Pasteur, writing to him on December 27, 
1887, to express his approbation, suggested various experi- 
ments to be attempted. He attributed the action of the 
preventive inoculations to a vaccinal matter associated 
with the rabic microbe. Pasteur had thought at first that 
the first development of the pathogenic microbe caused the 
disappearance from the organism of an element necessary 
to the life of that microbe. It was, in other words, a theory 
of exhaustion. But since 1885, he adopted the other idea, 
supported indeed by biologists, that immunity was due to a 
substance left in the body by the culture of the microbe 
and which opposed the invasion — a theory of addition. 

"lam happy to learn," wrote Villemin, his friend and 
his medical adviser, " that your health is improving ; 
continue to rest in that beautiful country, you have well 
deserved it, and rest is absolutely necessary to you. You 
have overtaxed yourself beyond all reason and you must 
make up for it. Repairs to the nervous system are worked 
chiefly by relaxation from the mental storms and moral 
anxieties which your rabid work has occasioned in you. 
Give the Bordighera sun a chance ! " 

But Pasteur was not allowed the rest he so much needed ; 
on January 4, 1887, referring to a death which had 
occurred after treatment in the preceding December, 
M. Peter declared that the antirabic cure was useless; 
at the following meeting he called it dangerous when 
applied in the " intensive " form. Dujardin-Beaumetz, 
Chauveau and Verneuil immediately intervened, declaring 
that the alleged fact was " devoid of any scientific char- 
acter." A week later, MM. Grancher and Brouardel bore the 
brunt of the discussion. Grancher, Pasteur's representative 
on this occasion, disproved certain allegations, and added : 
" The medical men who have been chosen by M. Pasteur to 
assist him in his work have not hesitated to practise the 

276 



I885-I888 

antirabic inoculation on themselves, as a safeguard against 
an accidental inoculation of the virus which they are con- 
stantly handling. What greater proof can they give of 
their bona fide convictions ?" He showed that the mortality 
amongst the cases treated remained below i per 100. " M. 
Pasteur will soon publish foreign statistics from Samara, 
Moscow, St. Petersburg, Odessa, Warsaw and Vienna : they 
are all absolutely favourable." 

As it was insinuated that the laboratory of the Ecole 
Normale kept its failures a secret, it was decided that the 
Annals of the Pasteur Institute would publish a monthly list 
and bulletin of patients under treatment. 

Vulpian, at another meeting (it was almost the last time 
he was heard at the Académie de Médecine) said, à propos 
of what he called an inexcusable opposition, " This new 
benefit adds to the number of those which our illustrious 
Pasteur has already rendered to humanity. . . . Our works 
and our names will soon be buried under the rising tide of 
oblivion : the name and the works of M. Pasteur will con- 
tinue to stand on heights too great to be reached by its 
sullen waves." Pasteur was much disturbed by the noise 
of these discussions ; every post increased his feverishness, 
and he spoke every morning of returning to Paris to answer 
his opponents. 

It was a pitiful thing to note on his worn countenance the 
visible signs of the necessity of the peace and rest offered 
by this beautiful land of serene sunshine, and to hear at 
the same time a constant echo of those angry debates. 
Anonymous letters were sent to him, insulting newspaper 
articles — all that envy and hatred can invent ; the seamy 
side of human nature was being revealed to him. " I did not 
know I had so many enemies," he said mournfully. He was 
consoled to some extent by the ardent support of the 
greatest medical men in France. 

277 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Vulpian, in a statement to the Académie des Sciences, 
constituted himself Pasteur's champion. Pasteur indeed 
was safe from attacks in that centre, but certain low 
slanderers who attended the public meetings of the Académie 
continued to accuse Pasteur of concealing the failures of 
his method. Vulpian — who was furiously angry at such an 
insinuation against "aman like M. Pasteur, whose good faith, 
loyalty and scientific integrity should be an example to his 
advei'saries as they are to his friends" — thought that it 
was in the interest both of science and of humanity, to state 
once more the facts recently confirmed by new statistics ; the 
public is so impressionable and so mobile in its opinions that 
one article is often enough to shake general confidence. He 
was therefore anxious to reassure all those who had been 
inoculated on and who might be induced by those discussions 
to wonder with anguish whether they really were saved. 
The Academy of Science decided that Vulpian's statement 
should be inserted in extenso in all the reports and a copy of 
it sent to every village in France. Vulpian wrote to Pas- 
teur at the same time, "All jomt admirers hope that those 
interested attacks will merely excite jqmv contempt. Fine 
weather is no doubt reigning at Bordighera : you must take 
advantage of it and become quite well. . . . The Academy 
of Medicine is almost entirely on your side; there are at the 
most but four or five exceptions. 

Pasteur had a few calm days after these debates. 
Whilst planning out new investigations, he was much 
interested in the plans for his Institute which were now 
submitted to him. His thoughts were always away from 
Bordighera, which he seemed to look upon as a sort of exile. 
This impression was partly due to the situation of the 
town, so close to the frontier, and the haunt of so many 
homeless wanderers. He once met a sad-faced, still 

278 



I885-I888 

beautiful woman, in mourning robes, and recognized the 
Empress Eugénie. 

Shortly afterwards, he received a visit from Prince 
Napoleon, who dragged his haughty e^tniii from town to 
town. He presented himself at the Villa BischofFsheim 
under the name of Count Moncalieri, coming, he said, to 
greet his colleague of the Institute. Rabies formed the 
subject of their conversation. The next day, Pasteur called 
on the Prince, in his commonplace hotel rooms, a mere 
temporary resting place for the exiled Bonaparte, whose 
mysterious, uncompleted destiny was made more enigmati- 
cal by his startling resemblance to the great Emperor. 

On February 23, the day after the carnival, early in the 
morning, a violent earthquake cast terror over that peaceful 
land where nature hides with flowers the spectre of death. 
At 6.20 a.m. a low and distant rumbling sound was heard, 
coming from the depths of the earth and resembling the 
noise of a train passing in an underground tunnel ; houses 
began to rock and ominous cracks were heard. This first 
shock lasted more than a minute, during which the sense of 
solidity disappeared altogether, to be succeeded by a feeling 
of absolute, hopeless, impotence. No doubt, in every house- 
hold, families gathered together, with a sudden yearning 
not to be divided. Pasteur's wife, children and grand- 
children had barely had time to come to him when another 
shock took place, more terrible than the first ; everything 
seemed about to be engulfed in an abyss. Never had morn- 
ing been more radiant, there was not a breath of wind, the 
air was absolutely transparent. 

An early departure was necessary : the broken ceilings 
were dropping to pieces, shaken off by an incessant vibra- 
tion of the ground which continued after the second shock, 
and of which Pasteur observed the effect on glass windows 
with much interest. Pasteur and his family drove off to 

279 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Vintimille in a carriage, along a road lined with ruined 
houses, crowded with sick people in quest of carriages and 
peasants coming down from their mountain dwellings, 
destroyed by the shock, leading donkeys loaded with 
bedding, the women followed by little children hastily 
wrapt in blankets and odd clothes. At Vintimille station, 
terrified travellers were trying to leave France for Italy or 
Italy for France, fancying that the danger would cease on 
the other side of the frontier. 

" We have resolved to go to Arbois," wrote Mme. Pasteur 
to her son from Marseilles ; " your father will be better able 
there than anywhere else to recover from this shock to 
his heart." 

After a few weeks' stay at Arbois, Pasteur seemed quite 
well again. He was received with respect and veneration 
on his return to the Academies of Sciences and of Medicine. 
His best and greatest colleagues had realized what the loss 
of him would mean to France and to the world, and sur- 
rounded him with an anxious solicitude. 

At the beginning of July, Pasteur received the report 
presented to the House of Commons by the English Com- 
mission after a fourteen months' study of the prophylactic 
method against hydrophobia. The English scientists had 
verified every one of the facts upon which the method was 
founded, but they had not been satisfied with their experi- 
mental researches in Mr. Horsley's laboratory, and had 
carried out a long and minute inquiry in France. After 
noting on Pasteur's registers the names of ninety persons 
treated, who had come from the. same neighbourhood, 
they had interviewed each one of them in their own 
homes. "It may therefore be considered as certain" 
— thus ran the report — " that M. Pasteur has discovered a 
prophylactic method against hydrophobia which may be 
compared with that of vaccination against small-pox. It 

280 



i885-t888 

would be difficult to overestimate the utility of this dis- 
covery, both from the point of view of its practical side and 
of its application to general pathology. We have here a 
new method of inoculation, or vaccination, as M. Pasteur 
sometimes calls it, and similar means might be employed to 
protect man and domestic animals against other virus as 
active as that of hydrophobia." 

Pasteur laid this report on the desk of the Academy of 
Sciences on July 4. He spoke of its spirit of entire and 
unanimous confidence, and added — 

" Thus fall to the ground the contradictions which have 
been published. I leave on one side the passionate attacks 
which were not justified by the least attempt at experiment, 
the slightest observation of facts in my laboratory, or even 
an exchange of words and ideas with the Director of the 
Hydrophobia Clinic, Professor Grancher, and his medical 
assistants. 

" But, however deep is my satisfaction as a Frenchman, I 
cannot but feel a sense of deepest sadness at the thought 
that this high testimony from a commission of illustrious 
scientists, was not known by him who, at the very 
beginning of the application of this method, supported me 
by his counsels and his authority, and who later on, when 
I was ill and absent, knew so well how to champion truth 
and justice ; I mean our beloved colleague Vulpian." 

Vulpian had succumbed to a few days' illness. His 
speech in favour of Pasteur was almost the farewell to the 
Academy of this great-hearted scientist. 

The discussion threatened to revive. Other colleagues 
defended Pasteur at the Academy of Medicine on July 12. 
Professor Brouardel spoke, also M. Villemin, and then 
Charcot, who insisted on quoting word for word Vulpian's 
true and simple phrase : " The discovery of the preventive 
treatment of hydrophobia after a bite, entirely due to M. 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Pasteur's experimental genius, is one of the finest dis- 
coveries ever made, both from the scientific and the 
humanitarian point of view." And Charcot continued : "I 
am persuaded that I express in these words the opinion of 
all the medical men who have studied the question with an 
open mind, free from prejudice ; the inventor of antirabic 
vaccination may, now more than ever, hold his head high 
and continue to accomplish his glorious task, heedless of 
the clamour of systematic contradiction or of the insidious 
murmurs of slander." 

The Academy of Sciences begged Pasteur to become its 
Life Secretary in Vulpian's place. Pasteur did not reply 
at once to this offer, but went to see M. Berthelot : " This 
high position," he said, " would be more suitable to you 
than to me." M. Berthelot, much touched, refused uncon- 
ditionally, and Pasteur accepted. He was elected on July 
1 8. He said, in thanking his colleagues, "I would now 
spend what time remains before me, on the one hand in 
encouraging to research and in training for scientific 
studies, — the future of which seems to me most promis- 
ing, — pupils worthy of French science ; and, on the other 
hand, in following attentively the work incited and en- 
couraged by this Academy. 

"Our only consolation, as we feel our own strength failing 
us, is to feel that we may help those who come after us to 
do more and to do better than ourselves, fixing their eyes as 
they can on the great horizons of which we only had a 
glimpse." 

He did not long fulfil his new duties. On October 23, 
Sunday morning, after writing a letter in his room, he tried 
to speak to Mme. Pasteur and could not pronounce a word ; 
his tongue was paralysed. He had promised to lunch with 
his daughter on that day, and, fearing that she might be 
alarmed, he drove to her house. After spending a few 

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hours in an easy chair, he consented to remain at her house 
with Mme. Pasteur. In the evening his speech returned, 
and two days later, when he went back to the Ecole 
Normale, no one would have noticed any change in him. 
But, on the following Saturday morning, he had another 
almost similar attack, without any premonitory symptoms. 
His speech remained somewhat difficult, and his deep 
powerful voice completely lost its strength. In January, 
1888, he was obliged to resign his secretaryship. 

Ill health had emaciated his features. A portrait of him 
by Carolus Duran represents him looking ill and weary, 
a sad look in his eyes. But goodness predominates in 
those worn features, revealing that lovable soul, full of 
pity for all human sufferings, and of which the painter has 
rendered the unspeakable thrill. 

Pasteur's various portraits, compared with one another, 
show us different aspects of his physiognomy. A luminous 
profile, painted by Henner ten years before, brings out the 
powerful harmony of the forehead. In 1886, Bonnat 
painted, for the brewer Jacobsen, who wished to present it 
to Mme. Pasteur, a large portrait which may be called an 
official one. Pasteur is standing in rather an artificial 
attitude, which might be imperious, if his left hand was 
not resting on the shoulder of his granddaughter, a child 
of six, with clear pensive eyes. In that same year, 
Edelfeldt, the Finnish painter, begged to be allowed to 
come into the laboratory for a few sketches. Pasteur 
came and went, attending to his work and taking no notice 
of the painter. One day that Edelfeldt was watching him 
thus, deep in observation, his forehead lined with almost 
painful thoughts, he undertook to portray the savant in his 
meditative attitude. Pasteur is standing clad in a short 
brown coat, an experimental card in his left hand, in his 
right, a phial containing a fragment of rabic marrow, the 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

expression in his eyes entirely concentrated on the 
scientific problem. 

During the year 1888, Pasteur, after spending the morn- 
ing with his patients, used to go and watch the buildings 
for the 'Pasteur Institute which were being erected in the 
Rue Dutot. 11,000 square yards of ground had been 
acquired in the midst of some market gardens. Instead of 
rows of hand-lights and young lettuces, a stone building, 
with a Louis XIII façade, was now being constructed. An 
interior gallery connected the main building with the large 
wings. The Pasteur Institute was to be at the same time a 
great dispensary for the treatment of hydrophobia, a centre 
of research on virulent and contagious diseases, and also 
a teaching centre. M. Duclaux's class of biological 
chemistry, held at the Sorbonne, was about to be trans- 
ferred to the Pasteur Institute, where Dr. Roux would also 
give a course of lectures on technical microbia. The 
" service " of vaccinations against anthrax was entrusted 
to M. Chamberland. (The statistics of 1882-1887 gave a 
total of 1,600,000 sheep and nearly 200,000 oxen.) There 
would also be, under M. Metchnikoff's direction, some 
private laboratories, the monkish cells of the Pastorians. 

At the end of October, the work was almost completed ; 
Pasteur invited the President of the Republic to come and 
inaugurate the Institute. " I shall certainly not fail to do 
so," answered Carnot ; " your Institute is a credit to 
France." 

On November 14, politicians, colleagues, friends, collabor- 
ators, pupils assembled in the large library of the new 
Institute. Pasteur had the pleasure of seeing before him, 
in the first rank, Duruy and Jules Simon ; it was a great 
day for these former Ministers of Public Instruction. Like 
them, Pasteur had all his life been deeply interested in 
higher education. " If that teaching is but for a small 

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I885-I888 

number," he said, " it is with this small number, this élite 
that the prosperity, glory and supremacy of a nation 
rests." 

Joseph Bertrand, chairman of the Institute Committee, 
knowing that by so doing he responded to Pasteur's dearest 
wishes, spoke of the past and recalled the memories of Biot, 
Senarmont, Claude Bernard, Balard, and J. B. Dumas. 

Professor Grancher, Secretary of the Committee, alluded 
to the way in which not only Vulpian but Brouardel, 
Charcot, Verneuil, Chauveau and Villemin had recently 
honoured tliemselves by supporting the cause of progress 
and preparing its triumph. These memories of early friends, 
associated with that of recent champions, brought before 
the audience a vision of the procession of years. After 
speaking of the obstacles Pasteur had so often encountered 
amongst the medical world — 

" You know," said M. Grancher, " that M. Pasteur is an 
innovator, and that his creative imagination, kept in check 
by rigorous observation of facts, has overturned many 
errors and built up in their place an entirely new science. 
His discoveries on /erments, on the generation of the 
infinitesimally small, on microbes, the cause of contagious 
diseases, and on the vaccination of those diseases, have 
been for biological chemistry, for the veterinary art and for 
medicine, not a regular progress, but a complete revolution. 
Now, revolutions, even those imposed by scientific demon- 
stration, ever leave behind them vanquished ones who do not 
easily forgive. M. Pasteur has therefore many adversaries 
in the world, without counting those Athenian French who 
do not like to see one man always right or always 
fortunate. And, as if he had not enough adversaries, M. 
Pasteur makes himself new ones by the rigorous implac- 
ability of his dialectics and the absolute form he sometimes 
gives to his thought." 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Going on to the most recently acquired results, M. 
Grancher stated that the mortality amongst persons treated 
after bites from rabid dogs remained under i per loo. 

" If those figures are indeed eloquent," said M.Christophle, 
the treasurer, who spoke after M. Grancher, "other figures 
are touching. I would advise those who only see the dark 
side of humanity," he remarked, before entering upon the 
statement of accounts — " those who go about repeating that 
everything here below is for the worst, that there is no 
disinterestedness, no devotion in this world — to cast their 
eyes over the ' human documents ' of the Pasteur Institute. 
They would learn therein, beginning at the beginning, that 
Academies contain colleagues who are not offended, but 
proud and happ}^ in tlire fame of another ; that politicians 
and journalists often have a passion for what is good and 
true ; that at no former epoch have great men been more 
beloved in France ; that justice is already rendered to them 
during their lifetime, which is very much the best way of 
doing so ; that we have cheered Victor Hugo's birthday, 
Chevreul's centenary, and the inauguration of the Pasteur 
Institute. When a Frenchman runs himself down, said 
one of M. Pasteur's colleagues, do not believe him ; he is 
boasting ! Reversing a celebrated and pessimistic phrase, 
it might be said that in this public subscription all the 
virtues flow into unselfishness like rivers into the sea." 

M. Christophle went on to show how rich and poor had 
joined in this subscription and raised an amount of 
2,586,680 fr. The French Chambers had voted 200,000 fr., 
to which had been added international gifts from the Tsar, 
the Emperor of Brazil, and the Sultan. The total expenses 
would probably reach 1,563,786 fr., leaving a little more 
than a million to form an endowment for the Pasteur 
Institute, a fund which was to be increased every year by 
the product of the sale of vaccines from the laboratory, 

286 



I885-I888 

which Pasteur and Messrs. Chamberland and Roux agreed 
to give up to the Institute. 

"It is thus, Sir," concluded the treasurer, directly- 
addressing Pasteur, " that public generosity, practical help 
from the Government, and your own disinterestedness have 
founded and consolidated the establishment which we are 
to-day inaugurating." And, persuaded that the solicitude 
of the public would never fail to support this great work, 
"This is for you. Sir, a rare and almost unhoped for 
happiness ; let it console you for the passionate struggles, 
the terrible anxiety and the many emotions you have gone 
through." 

Pasteur, overcome by his feelings, had to ask his son to 
read his speech. It began by a rapid summary of what 
France had done for education in all its degrees. " From 
village schools to laboratories, everything has been founded 
or renovated." After acknowledging the help given him 
in later years by the public authorities, he continued — 

" And when the day came that, foreseeing the future 
which would be opened by the discovery of the attenua- 
tion of virus, I appealed to my country, so that we 
should be allowed, through the strength and impulse of 
private initiative, to build laboratories to be devoted, not 
only to the prophylactic treatment of hydrophobia, but also 
to the study of virulent and contagious diseases — on that 
day again, France gave in handfuls. ... It is now 
finished, this great building, of which it might be said that 
there is not a stone but what is the material sign of a 
generous thought. All the virtues have subscribed to build 
this dwelling place for work. 

"Alas! mine is the bitter grief that I enter it, a man 
' vanquished by Time,' deprived of my masters, even of my 
companions in the struggle, Dumas, Bouley, Paul Bert, and 
lastly Vulpian, who, after having been with you, my dear 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Grancher, my counsellor at the very first, became the most 
energetic, the most convinced champion of this method. 

" However, if I have the sorrow of thinking that they are 
no more, after having valiantly taken their part in discussions 
which I have never provoked but have had to endure ; if 
they cannot hear me proclaim all that I owe to their 
counsels and support ; if I feel their absence as deeply as on 
the morrow of their death, I have at least the consolation of 
believing that all that we struggled for together will not 
perish. The collaborators and pupils who are now here 
share our scientific faith. ..." He continued, as in a sort 
of testament : " Keep your early enthusiasm, dear collabor- 
ators, but let it ever be regulated by rigorous examinations 
and tests. Never advance anything which cannot be 
proved in a simple and decisive fashion. 

" Worship the spirit of criticism. If reduced to itself, it 
is not an awakener of ideas or a stimulant to great things, 
but, without it, everything is fallible ; it always has the last 
word. What I am now asking you, and you will ask of 
your pupils later on, is what is most difiicult to an 
inventor. 

"It is indeed a hard task, when you believe you have 
found an important scientific fact and are feverishly 
anxious to publish it, to constrain yourself for days, weeks, 
years sometimes, to fight with yourself, to try and ruin 
your own experiments and only to proclaim your discovery 
after having exhausted all contrary hypotheses. 

"But when, after so many efforts, you have at last arrived 
at a certainty, your joy is one of the greatest which can be 
felt by a human soul, and the thought that you will have 
contributed to the honour of your country renders that joy 
still deeper. 

" If science has no country, the scientist should have one, 
and ascribe to it the influence which his works may have 

288 



I885-I888 

in this world. If I might be allowed, M. le Président, to 
conclude by a philosophical remark inspired by your 
presence in this Home of Work, I should say that two 
contrary laws seem to be wrestling with each other 
nowadays ; the one, a law of blood and of death, ever 
imagining new means of destruction and forcing nations 
to be constantly ready for the battlefield — the other, a 
law of peace, work and health, ever evolving new means 
of delivering man from the scourges which beset him. 

" The one seeks violent conquests, the other the relief of 
humanity. The latter places one human life above any 
victory; while the former would sacrifice hundreds and 
thousands of lives to the ambition of one. The law of 
which we are the instruments seeks, even in the midst of 
carnage, to cure the sanguinary ills of the law of war ; 
the treatment inspired by our antiseptic methods may pre- 
serve thousands of soldiers. Which of those two laws will 
ultimately prevail, God alone knows. But we may assert 
that French Science will have tried, by obeying the law of 
Humanity, to extend the frontiers of Life." 



VOL. II. 289 u 



CHAPTER VII 

I 8 8 9-1895 

IN this Institute, which Pasteur entered ill and weary, 
he contemplated with joy those large laboratories, which 
would enable his pupils to work with ease and to attract 
around them investigators from all countries. He was 
happy to think that the material difficulties which had 
hampered him would be spared those who came after him. 
He believed in the realization of his wishes for peace, 
work, mutual help among men. Whatever the obstacles, 
he was persuaded that science would continue its civilizing 
progress and that its benefits would spread from domain to 
domain. Differing from those old men who are ever 
praising the past, he had an enthusiastic confidence in 
the future ; he foresaw great developments of his studies, 
some of which were already apparent. His first researches 
on crystallography and molecular dissymmetry had served 
as a basis to stereo-chemistry. But, while he followed the 
studies on that subject of Le Bel and Van T'Hofif, he 
continued to regret that he had not been able to revert 
to the studies of his youth, enslaved as he had been 
by the inflexible logical sequence of his works. " Every 
time we have had the privilege of hearing Pasteur speak 
of his early researches," writes M. Chamberland, in an article 
of the Revue Scientifique y " we have seen the revival in him 
of a smouldering fire, and we have thought that his coun- 

290 



J I889-I895 

tenance showed a vague regret at having forsaken them. 
Who can now say what discoveries he might have made 
in that direction ?" " One day," said Dr. Héricourt — who 
spent the summer near Villeneuve l'Etang, and who often 
came into the Park with his two sons — " he favoured me 
with an admirable, captivating discourse on this subject, 
the like of which I have never heard.' ' 

Pasteur, instead of feeling regret, might have looked 
back with calm pride on the progress he had made in 
other directions. 

In what obscurity were fermentation and infection 
enveloped before his time, and with what light he had 
penetrated them ! When he had discovered the all- 
powerful rôle of the infinitesimally small, he had actually 
mastered some of those living germs, causes of disease; 
he had transformed them from destructive to preservative 
agents. Not only had he renovated medicine and surgery, 
but hygiene, misunderstood and neglected until then, was 
benefiting by the experimental method. Light was being 
thrown on preventive measures. 

M. Henri Monod, Director of Hygiene and Public 
Charities, one day quoted, à propos of sanitary measures, 
these words of the great English minister, Disraeli — 

" Public health is the foundation upon which rest the 
happiness of the people and the power of the State. Take 
the most beautiful kingdom, give it intelligent and laborious 
citizens, prosperous manufactures, productive agriculture ; 
let arts flourish, let architects cover the land with temples 
and palaces ; in order to defend all these riches, have first- 
rate weapons, fleets of torpedo boats — if the population 
remains stationary, if it decreases yearly in vigour and in 
stature, the nation must perish. And that is why I consider 
that the first duty of a statesman is the care of Public 
Health." 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

In 1889, when the International Congress of Hygiene 
met in Paris, M. Brouardel was able to say — 

" If echoes from this meeting could reach them . . . 
our ancestors would learn that a revolution, the most 
formidable for thirty centuries, has shaken medical science 
to its very foundations, and that it is the work of a stranger 
to their corporation ; and their sons do not cry Anathema, 
they admire him, bow to his laws. . . . We all proclaim 
ourselves disciples of Pasteur." 

On the very day after those words were pronounced, 
Pasteur saw the realization of one of his most ardent 
wishes, the inauguration of the new Sorbonne. At the 
sight of the wonderful facilities for work offered by this 
palace, he remembered Claude Bernard's cellar, his own 
garret at the Ecole Normale, and felt a movement of 
patriotic pride. 

In October, 1889, though his health remained shaken, 
he insisted on going to Alais, where a statue was being 
raised to J. B. Dumas. Many of his colleagues tried to 
dissuade him from this long and fatiguing journey, but he 
said: "I am alive, I shall go." At the foot of the statue, 
he spoke of his master, one of those men who are " the 
tutelary spirits of a nation." 

The sericicultors, desiring to thank him for the five 
years he had spent in studying the silkworm disease, 
offered him an artistic souvenir: a silver heather twig 
laden with gold cocoons. 

Pasteur did not fail to remind them that it was at the 
request of their fellow-citizen that he had studied pébrine. 
He said : " In the expression of your gratitude, by which 
I am deeply touched, do not forget that the initiative was 
due to M. Dumas." 

Thus his character revealed itself on every occasion. 
Every morning, with a step rendered heavy by age and 

292 



I889-I895 

ill-health, he went from his rooms to the Hydrophobia 
Clinic, arriving there long before the patients. He super- 
intended the preparation of the vaccinal marrows ; no detail 
escaped him. When the time came for inoculations, he 
was already informed of each patient's name, sometimes 
of his poor circumstances ; he had a kind word for every 
one, often substantial help for the very poor. The children 
interested him most ; whether severely bitten, or frightened 
at the inoculation, he dried their tears and consoled them. 
How many children have thus kept a memory of him! 
"When I see a child," he used to say, "he inspires me 
with two feelings : tenderness for what he is now, respect 
for what he may become hereafter." 

Already in May, 1892, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway 
had formed various Committees of scientists and pupils of 
Pasteur to celebrate his seventieth birthday. In France, it 
was in November that the Medical and Surgical Section of 
the Academy of Sciences constituted a Subscription Com- 
mittee to offer Pasteur an affectionate homage. Roty, the 
celebrated engraver, was desired to finish a medal he had 
already begun, representing Pasteur in profile, a skull cap 
on his broad forehead, the brow strongly prominent, the 
whole face full of energy and meditation. His shoulders 
are covered with the cape he usually wore in the morning 
in the passages of his Institute. Roty had not time to 
design a satisfactory reverse side ; he surrounded with 
laurels and roses the following inscription : " To Pasteur, 
on his seventieth birthday. France and Humanity grateful." 

On the morning of December 27, 1892, the great theatre 
of the Sorbonne was filled. The seats of honour held the 
French and foreign delegates from scientific Societies, the 
members of the Institute, and the Professors of Faculties. 
In the amphitheatre were the deputations from the Ecoles 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Normale, Polytechnique, Centrale, of Pharmacy, Vétérin- 
aires, and of Agriculture — deep masses of students. People 
pointed out to each other Pasteur's pupils, Messrs. Duclaux, 
Roux, Chamberland, Metchnikofit', in their places ; M. Per- 
drix, a former Normalien, now an Agrégé-préparateur ; 
M. Edouard Calmette, a former student of the Ecole Cen- 
trale, who had taken part in the studies on beer; and 
M. Denys Cochin, who, thirteen years before, had studied 
alcoholic fermentation in the laboratory of the Rue d'Ulm. 
The first gallery was full of those who had subscribed to- 
wards the presentation about to be made to Pasteur. In 
the second gallery, boys from lycées crowned the immense 
assembly with a youthful garland. 

At half-past lo o'clock, whilst the band of the Republican 
Guard played a triumphal march, Pasteur entered, leaning 
on the arm of the President of the Republic. Carnot led 
him to a little table, whereon the addresses from the various 
delegates were to be laid. The Presidents of the Senate 
and of the Chamber, the Ministers and Ambassadors, took 
their seats on the platform. Behind the President of the 
Republic stood, in their uniform, the official delegates of 
the five Academies which form the Institut de France. The 
Academy of Medicine and the great Scientific Societies 
were represented by their presidents and life-secretaries. 

M. Charles Dupuy, Minister of Public Instruction, rose 
to speak, and said, after retracing Pasteur's great works — 

"Who can now say how much human life owes to you 
and how much more it will owe to you in the future ! The 
day will come when another Lucretius will sing, in a new 
poem on Nature, the immortal Master whose genius engen- 
dered such benefits. 

" He will not describe him as a solitary, unfeeling man, 
like the hero of the Latin poet; but he will show him 
mingling with the life of his time, with the joys and trials 

294 



I889-I895 

of his country, dividing his life between the stern enjoyment 
of scientific research and the sweet communion of family 
intercourse; going from the laboratory to his hearth, find- 
ing in his dear ones, particularly in the helpmeet who has 
understood him so well and loved him all the better for it, 
that comforting encouragement of every hour and each 
moment, without which so many struggles might have 
exhausted his ardour, arrested his perseverance, and ener- 
vated his genius. . . . 

" May France keep you for many more years, and show 
you to the world as the worthy object of her love, of her 
gratitude and pride." 

The President of the Academy of Sciences, M. d' Abbadie, 
was chosen to present to Pasteur the commemorative medal 
of this great day. 

Joseph Bertrand said that the same science, wide, accu- 
rate, and solid, had been a foundation to all Pasteur's works, 
each of them shining " with such a dazzling light, that, in 
looking at either, one is inclined to think that it eclipses all 
others.'' 

After a few words from M. Daubrée, senior member of 
the Mineralogical Section and formerly a colleague of 
Pasteur's at the Strasburg Faculty, the great Lister, who 
represented the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, 
brought to Pasteur the homage of medicine and surgery. 
" You have," said he, " raised the veil which for centuries 
had covered infectious diseases ; you have discovered and 
demonstrated their microbian nature." 

When Pasteur rose to embrace Lister, the sight of those 
two men gave the impression of a brotherhood of science 
labouring to diminish the sorrows of humanity. 

After a speech from M. Bergeron, Life-Secretary of the 
Academy of Medicine, and another from M. Sauton, Presi- 
dent of the Paris Municipal Council, the various delegates 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

presented the addresses they had brought. Each of the large 
cities of Europe had its representative. The national dele- 
gates were called in their turn. A student from the Alfort 
Veterinary School brought a medal offered by the united 
Veterinary Schools of France. Amongst other offerings, 
Pasteur was given an album containing the signatures of 
the inhabitants of Arbois, and another coming from Dole, 
in which were reproduced a facsimile of his birth-certifi- 
cate and a photograph of the house in which he was born. 
The sight of his father's signature at the end of the certi- 
ficate moved him more than anything else. 

The Paris Faculty of Medicine was represented by its 
Dean, Professor Brouardel. " More fortunate than Harvey 
and than Jenner," he said, " you have been able to see 
the triumph of your doctrines, and what a triumph ! . . ." 
The last word of homage was pronounced by M. Devise, 
President of the Students' Association, who said to Pasteur, 
" You have been very great and very good ; you have given 
a beautiful example to students." 

Pasteur's voice, made weaker than usual by his emotion, 
could not have been heard all over the large theatre ; his 
thanks were read out by his son — 

" Monsieur le Président de la République, your presence 
transforms an intimate fête into a great ceremony, and 
makes of the simple birthday of a savant a special date for 
French science. 

"M. le Ministre, Gentlemen — In the midst of all this 
magnificence, my first thought takes me back to the 
melancholy memory of so many men of science who have 
known but trials. In the past, they had to struggle, 
against the prejudices which hampered their ideas. After 
those prejudices were vanquished, they encountered ob- 
stacles and difficulties of all kinds. 

"Very few years ago, before the public authorities and 

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I889-I895 

the town councils had endowed science with splendid 
dwellings, a man whom I loved and admired, Claude 
Bernard, had, for a laboratory, a wretched cellar not far 
from here, low and damp. Perhaps it was there that he 
contracted the disease of which he died. When I heard 
what you were preparing for me here, the thought of him 
arose in my mind ; I hail his great memory. 

" Gentlemen, by an ingenious and delicate thought, you 
seem to make the whole of my life pass before my eyes. 
One of my Jura compatriots, the Mayor of Dole, has 
brought me a photograph of the very humble home where 
my father and mother lived such a hard life. The presence 
of the students of the Ecole Normale brings back to me 
the glamour of my first scientific enthusiasms. The repre- 
sentatives of the Lille Faculty evoke memories of my first 
studies on crystallography and fermentation, which opened 
to me a new world. What hopes seized upon me when I 
realized that there must be laws behind so many obscure 
phenomena ! You, my dear colleagues, have witnessed 
by what series of deductions it was given to me, a disciple 
of the experimental method, to reach physiological studies. 
If I have sometimes disturbed the calm of our Academies 
by somewhat violent discussions, it was because I was 
passionately defending truth. 

'' And you, delegates from foreign nations, who have 
come from so far to give to France a proof of sympathy, 
you bring me the deepest joy that can be felt by a man 
whose invincible belief is that Science and Peace will 
triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will unite, 
not to destroy, but to build, and that the future will belong 
to those who will have done most for suffering humanity. 
I appeal to you, my dear Lister, and to you all, illustrious 
representatives of medicine and surgery. 

" Young men, have confidence in those powerful and safe 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

methods, of which we do not yet know all the secrets. 
And, whatever your career may be, do not let yourselves 
become tainted by a deprecating and barren scepticism, 
do not let yourselves be discouraged by the sadness of 
certain hours which pass over nations. Live in the serene 
peace of laboratories and libraries. Say to yourselves first : 
' What have I done for my instruction ? ' and, as you 
gradually advance, ' What have I done for my country?' 
until the time comes when you may have the immense 
happiness of thinking that you have contributed in some 
way to the progress and to the good of humanity. But, 
whether our efforts are or not favoured by life, let us be 
able to say, when we come near the great goal, ' I have 
done what I could.' 

" Gentlemen, I would express to you my deep emotion and 
hearty gratitude. In the same way as Roty, the great 
artist, has, on the back of this medal, hidden under roses 
the heavy number of years which weigh on my life, you 
have, my dear colleagues, given to my old age the most 
delightful sight of all this living and loving youth." 

The shouts "Vive Pasteur!" resounded throughout the 
building. The President of the Republic rose, went towards 
Pasteur to congratulate him, and embraced him with 
effusion. 

Hearts went out to Pasteur even from distant countries. 
The Canadian Government, acting on the suggestion of the 
deputies of the province of Quebec, gave the name of 
Pasteur to a district on the borders of the state of Maine. 

A few weeks after the fête, the Governor-General of 
Algeria, M. Cambon, wrote to Pasteur as follows — 

"Sir — desirous of showing to you the special gratitude 
which Algeria bears you for the immense services you h<ave 
rendered to science and to humanity by your great and fruit- 

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I889-I895 

fui discoveries, I have decided that your name should be 
given to the village of Sériana, situated in the arrondisse- 
ment of Batna, department of Constantine. I am happy 
that I have been able to render this slight homage to your 
illustrious person." " I feel a deep emotion," replied Pasteur, 
" in thinking that, thanks to you, my name will remain 
attached to that corner of the world. When a child of this 
village asks what was the origin of this denomination, I 
should like the schoolmaster to tell him simply that it is the 
name of a Frenchman who loved France very much, and 
who, by serving her, contributed to the good of humanity. 
My heart is thrilled at the thought that my name might one 
day awaken the first feelings of patriotism in a child's soul. 
I shall owe to you this great joy in my old age ; I thank you 
more than I can say." The origin of Sériana is very ancient. 
M. Stéphane Gsell relates that this village was occupied long 
before the coming of the Romans, by a tribe which became 
Christian, as is seen by ruins of chapels and basilicas. It 
is situated on the slope of a mountain covered with oaks 
and cedars, and giving rise to springs of fresh water. A 
bust of Pasteur was soon after erected in this village, at the 
request of the inhabitants. 

Enthusiasm for Pasteur was spreading everywhere. 
Women understood that science was entering their domain, 
since it served charity. They gave magnificent gifts ; 
clauses in wills bore these words: "To Pasteur, to help in 
his humanitarian task." In November, 1893, Pasteur saw 
an unknown lady enter his study in the Rue Dutot, and 
heard her speak thus : " There must be some students who 
love science and who, having to earn their living, cannot 
give themselves up to disinterested work. I should like to 
place at your disposal four scholarships, for four young men 
chosen by you. Each scholarship would be of 3,000 frs. ; 
2,400 for the men themselves, and 600 frs. for the expenses 

299 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

they would incur in your laboratories. Their lives would 
be rendered easier. You could find amongst them, either an 
immediate collaborator for your Institute or a missionary 
whom you might send far away ; and if a medical career 
tempted them, they would be enabled by their momentary 
independence to prepare themselves all the better for their 
profession. I only ask one thing, which is that my name 
should not be mentioned." 

Pasteur was infinitely touched by the scheme of this 
mysterious lady. The scholarship foundation was for one 
year only, but other years were about to follow and to 
resemble this one. 

Many letters brought to Pasteur requested that he should 
study or order the study of such and such a disease. Some 
of these letters responded to preoccupations which had long 
been in the mind of Pasteur and his disciples. One day he 
received these lines : 

" You have done all the good a man could do on earth. 
If you will, you can surely find a remedy for the horrible 
disease called diphtheria. Our children, to whom we teach 
your name as that of a great benefactor, will owe their 
lives to you. — A Mother." 

Pasteur, in spite of his failing strength, had hopes that 
he would yet live to see the defeat of the foe so dreaded by 
mothers. In the laboratory of the Pasteur Institute, Dr. 
Roux and Dr Yersin were obstinately pursuing the study 
of this disease. In their first paper on the subject, modestly 
entitled A Contribution to the Study of Diphtheria, they said: 
" Ever since Bretonneau, diphtheria has been looked upon 
as a specific and contagious disease ; its study has there- 
fore been undertaken of late years with the help of the 
microbian methods which have already been the means of 
finding the cause of many other infectious diseases." 

300 



I889-I895 

In spite of the convictions of Bretonneau, who had, in 
1818, witnessed a violent epidemic of croup in the centre of 
France, his view was far from being generally adopted. 
Velpeau, then a young student, wrote to him in 1820 that 
all the members, save two, of the Faculty of Medicine were 
agreed in opposing or blaming his opinions. Another 
brilliant pupil of Bretonneau's, Dr. Trousseau, who never 
ceased to correspond with his old master, wrote to him in 
J 85 4: "It remains to be proved that diphtheria always 
comes from a germ. I hardly doubt this with regard to 
small-pox ; to be consistent, I ought not to doubt it either 
with regard to diphtheria. I was thinking so this morning, 
as I was performing tracheotomy on a poor child twenty- 
eight months old ; opposite the bed, there was a picture of 
his five-year-old brother, painted on his death-bed. He had 
succumbed five years ago, to malignant angina." 

Knowing Bretonneau's ideas on contagion, Trousseau 
wrote further down : " I shall have the beds and bedding 
burnt, the paper hangings also, for they have a velvety and 
attractive surface ; I shall tell the mother to purify herself 
like a Hindoo — else what would you say to me ! " 

A German of the name of Klebs discovered the bacillus 
of diphtheria in 1883, by studying the characteristic mem- 
branes ; it was afterwards isolated by Loefiler, another 
German. 

Pure cultures of this bacillus, injected on the surface of 
the excoriated fauces of rabbits, guinea-pigs, and pigeons, 
produce the diphtheritic membranes: Messrs. Roux and 
Yersin demonstrated this fact and ascertained the method 
of its deadly action. 

Dr. Roux, in a lecture to the London Royal Society, in 
1889, said : " Microbes are chiefly dangerous on account of 
the toxic matters which they produce." He recalled that 
Pasteur had been the first to investigate the action of the 

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THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

toxic products elaborated by the microbe of chicken-cholera. 
By filtering the culture, Pasteur had obtained a liquid 
which contained no microbes. Hens inoculated with this 
liquid presented all the symptoms of cholera. "This 
experiment shows us," continued M. Roux, " that the 
chemical products contained in the culture are capable by 
themselves of provoking the symptoms of the disease ; it is 
therefore very probable that the same products are pre- 
pared within the body itself of a hen attacked with cholera. 
It has been shown since then that many pathogenic microbes 
manufactured these toxic products. The microbes of 
typhoid fever, of cholera, of blue pus, of acute experimental 
septicaemia, of diphtheria, are great poison-producers. The 
cultures of the diphtheria bacillus particularly are, after 
a certain time, so full of the toxin that, without microbes, 
and in infinitesimal doses, they cause the death of the 
animals with all the signs observed after inoculation with 
the microbe itself. The picture of the disease is complete, 
even presenting the ensuing paralysis if the injected dose is 
too weak to bring about a rapid death. Death in infectious 
diseases is therefore caused by intoxication." 

This bacillus, like that of tetanus, secretes a poison 
which reaches the kidneys, attacks the nervous system, and 
acts on the heart, the beats of which are accelerated or 
suddenly arrested. Sheltered in the membrane like a foe 
in an ambush, the microbe manufactures its deadly poison. 
Diphtheria, as defined by M. Roux, is an intoxication caused 
by a very active poison formed by the microbe within the 
restricted area wherein it develops. 

It was sufficient to examine a portion of diphtheritic 
membrane to distinguish the diphtheritic bacilli, tiny rods 
resembling short needles laid across each other. Other 
microbes were frequently associated with these bacilli, and 
it became necessary to study microbian associations in 

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I889-I895 

diphtheria. The Klebs-Loeffler bacillus, disseminated in 
broth, gave within a month or three weeks a richly toxic 
culture ; the bottom of the vessel was covered with a thick 
deposit of microbes, and a film of younger bacilli floated on 
the surface. By [filtering this broth and freeing it from 
microbes, Messrs. Roux and Yersin made a great discovery : 
they obtained pure toxin, capable of killing, in forty-eight 
hours, a guinea-pig inoculated with one tenth of a cubic 
centimeter of it. 

Now that the toxin was found, the remedy, the antitoxin, 
could be discovered. This was done by Behring, a German 
scientist, and by Kitasato, a Japanese physician. Drs. 
Richet and Héricourt had already opened the way in 1888, 
while studying another disease. 

M. Roux inoculated a horse with diphtheritic toxin 
mitigated by the addition of iodine, in doses, very weak at 
first, but gradually stronger ; the horse grew by degrees 
capable of resisting strong doses of pure toxin. It was 
then bled by means of a large trocar introduced into the 
jugular vein, the blood received in a bowl was allowed to 
coagulate, and the liquid part of it, the serum, was then 
collected ; this serum was antitoxic, antidiphtheritic — in one 
word, the long-desired cure. 

At the beginning of 1894, M. Roux had several horses 
rendered immune by the above process. He desired to 
prove the efficiency of the serum in the treatment of 
diphtheria, with the collaboration of MM. Martin and 
Chaillou, who had, both clinically and bacteriologically, 
studied more than 400 cases of diphtheria. 

There are in Paris two hospitals where diptheritic chil- 
dren are taken in. It was decided that the new treatment 
should be applied at the hospital of the Enfants Malades, 
whilst the old system should be continued at the Hôpital 
Trousseau. 

303 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

From February i, MM. Roux, Martin, and Chaillou paid 
a daily visit to the Enfants Malades ; they treated all the 
little diphtheria patients by injection, in the side, of a dose of 
twenty cubic centimetres of serum, followed, twenty-four 
hours later, by another dose of twenty, or only of ten cubic 
centimetres. Almost invariably, not only did the mem- 
branes cease to increase during the twenty-four hours 
following the first injection, but they began to come away 
within thirty-six or forty-eight hours, the third day at the 
latest ; the livid, leaden paleness of the face disappeared : 
the child was saved. 

From 1890 to 1893 there had been 3,971 cases of diph- 
theria, fatal in 2,029 cases, the average mortality being 
therefore 51 per 100. The serum treatment, applied to 
hundreds of children, brought it down to less than 24 per 
100 in four months. At the Trousseau Hospital, where the 
serum was not employed, the mortality during the same 
period was 60 per 100. 

In May, M. Roux gave a lecture on diphtheria at Lille, 
at the request of the Provident Society of the Friends of 
Science, which held its general meeting in that town. 
Pasteur, who was president of the Society, came to Lille to 
thank its inhabitants for the support they had afforded for 
forty years to the Society. 

The master and his disciple were received in the Hall of 
the Industrial Society. Pasteur listened with an admiring 
emotion to his pupil, whose rigorous experimentation, to- 
gether with the beauty of the object in view, filled him with 
enthusiasm. He who had said, " Exhaust every combina- 
tion, until the mind can conceive no others possible," was 
delighted to hear the methodical exposition of the manner in 
which this great problem had been attacked and solved. 

At the Hygiene and Demography Congress at Buda- 
pesth, M. Roux, repeating and enlarging his lecture, made 

304 



I889-I895 

a communication on the serotherap5'' of diphtheria which 
created a great sensation in Europe. 

In France, prefects asked the Minister of the Interior how 
local physicians might obtain this anti-diphtheritic serum. 
The Figaro newspaper opened a subscription towards pre- 
serving children from croup ; it soon reached more than a 
million francs. The Pasteur Institute was now able to build 
stables, buy a hundred horses, render them immune, and 
constitute a permanent organization for serotherapy. In 
three months, 50,000 doses of serum were about to be given 
away. 

Pasteur, who was then at Arbois, followed every detail 
with passionate interest. Sitting under the old quinces 
in his little garden, he read the lists of subscribers, names 
of little children, offering charitable gifts as they entered 
this life, and names of sorrowing parents, giving in the 
names of dear lost ones. 

When he started again for Paris, October 4, 1894, Pasteur 
was seized again with the melancholy feeling which had 
attended his first departure from his home, when he was 
sixteen years old. He saw the same grey sky, the same 
fine rain and misty horizon, as he looked for the last time 
upon the distant hills and wide plains he loved, perhaps 
conscious that it was so. But he remained silent, as was 
his wont when troubled by his thoughts, his sadness only 
revealing itself to those who lovingly watched every move- 
ment of his countenance. 

On October 6, the Pasteur Institute was invaded by a 
crowd of medical men ; M. Martin gave a special lecture in 
compliance with the desire of many practitioners unaccus- 
tomed to laboratory work, who desired to understand the 
diagnosis of diphtheria and the mode in which the serum 
should be used. Pasteur, from his study window, was 
watching all this coming and going in his Institute. A 
VOL. II. 305 X 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

twofold feeling was visible on his worn features : a sorrow- 
ing regret that his age now disarmed him for work, but 
also the satisfaction of feeling that his work was growing 
day by day, and that other investigators would, in a similar 
spirit, pursue the many researches which remained to be 
undertaken. About that time, M. Yersin, now a physician 
in the colonies, communicated to the Annals of the Pasteur 
Institute the discovery of the plague bacillus. He had 
been desired to go to China in order to study the nature of 
the scourge, its conditions of propagation and the most 
efficient means of preventing it from attacking the French 
possessions. Pasteur had long recognized very great 
qualities in this pupil whose habits of silent labour were 
almost those of an ascète. M. Yersin started with a 
missionary's zeal. When he reached Hong-Kong, three 
hundred Chinese had already succumbed, and the hospitals 
of the colony were full ; he immediately recognized the 
symptoms of the bubonic plague, which had ravaged 
Europe on many occasions He noticed that the epidemic 
raged principally in the slums occupied by Chinese of the 
poorer classes, and that, in the infected quarters, there were 
a great many rats, which had died of the plague. Pasteur 
read with the greatest interest the following lines, so 
exactly in accordance Avith his own method of observation : 
" The peculiar aptitude to contract plague possessed by 
certain animals," wrote M. Yersin, " enabled me to under- 
take an experimental study of the disease under very 
favourable circumstances ; it was obvious that the first 
thing to do was to look for a microbe in the blood of the 
patients and in the bubonic pulp." When M. Yersin inocu- 
lated rats, mice, or guinea-pigs with this pulp, the animals 
died, and he found several bacilli in the ganglions, spleen 
and blood. After some attempts at cultures and inocula- 
tions, he concluded thus : " The plague is a contagious and 

306 



I889-I895 

inoculable disease. It seems likely that rats constitute its 
principal vehicle, but I have also ascertained that flies can 
contract the disease and die of it, and may therefore become 
agents for its transmission." 

At the very time when M. Yersin was discovering the 
specific bacillus of the plague in the bubonic pulp, Kitasato 
was making similar investigations. The foe now being 
recognized, hopes of vanquishing it might be entertained. 

And whilst those good tidings were arriving, Pasteur 
was reading a new work by M. Metchnikoff, a Russian 
scientist, who had elected to come to France for the privilege 
of working by the side of Pasteur. M. Metchnikoff ex- 
plained by the action of the white corpuscles of the blood, 
named " leucocytes," the immunity or resistance, either 
natural or acquired, of the organism against a defined 
disease. These corpuscles may be considered as soldiers 
entrusted with the defence of the organism against foreign 
invasions. If microbes penetrate into the tissues, the 
defenders gather all their forces together and a free fight 
ensues. The organism resists or succumbs according to 
the power or inferiority of the white blood-cells. If the 
invading microbe is surrounded, eaten up and ingested by 
the victorious white corpuscles (also named phagocytes) , the 
latter find in their victory itself fresh reserve forces against 
a renewed invasion. 

On November 1 , in the midst of all this laborious activity 
and daily progress, Pasteur was about to pay his daily 
visit to his grandchildren, when he was seized by a violent 
attack of uraemia. He was laid on his bed and remained 
nearly unconscious for four hours ; the sweat of agony 
bathed his forehead and his whole body, and his eyes 
remained closed. The evening brought with it a ray of 
hope ; he was able to speak, and asked not to be left alone. 

307 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

Immediate danger seemed avoided, but great anxiety con- 
tinued to be felt. 

It was easy to organize a series of devoted nurses ; all 
Pasteur's disciples were eager to watch by his bedside. 
Every evening, two persons took their seats in his room : 
one a member of the family, and one a " Pastorian." About 
one a.m., they were replaced by another Pastorian and 
another member of the family. From November i to 
December 25, the laboratory workers continued this watch- 
ing, regulated by Dr. Roux as follows : — 

Sunday night, Roux and Chantemesse ; Monday, Queyrat 
and Marmier ; Tuesday, Borrel and Martin ; Wednesday, 
Mesnil and Pottevin; Thursday, Marchoux and Viala; 
Friday, Calmette and Veillon ; Saturday, Renon and Morax. 
A few alterations were made in this order ; Dr. Marie 
claimed the privilege. M. Metchnikoff, full of anxiety, 
came and went continually from the laboratory to the 
master's room. After the day's work, each faithful watcher 
came in, bringing books or notes, to go on with the work 
begun, if the patient should be able to sleep. In the middle 
of the night, Mme. Pasteur would come in and send away 
with a sweet authority one of the two volunteer nurses. 
Pasteur's loving and faithful wife was straining every 
faculty of her valiant and tender soul to conjure the vision 
of death which seemed so near. In spite of all her courage, 
there were hours of weakness, at early dawn, when life 
was beginning to revive in the quiet neighbourhood, when 
she could not keep her tears from flowing silently. Would 
they succeed in saving him whose life was so precious, so 
useful to others? In the morning, Pasteur's two grand- 
children came into the bedroom. The little girl of four- 
teen, fully realizing the prevailing anxiety, and rendered 
serious by the sorrow she struggled to hide, talked quietly 
with him. The little boy, only eight years old, climbed on 

308 



I889-I895 

to his grandfather's bed, kissing him affectionately and 
gazing on the loved face which always found enough 
strength to smile at him. 

Dr. Chantemesse attended Pasteur with an incomparable 
devotion. Dr. Gille, who had often been sent for by 
Pasteur when staying at Villeneuve 1' Etang, came to Paris 
from Garches to see him. Professor Guyon showed his 
colleague the most affectionate solicitude. Professor 
Dieulafoy was brought in one morning by M. Metchnikoff ; 
Professor Grancher, who was ill and away from Paris 
hurried back to his master's side. 

How often did they hang over him, anxiously following 
the respiratory rhythm due to the ursemic intoxication ! 
movements slow at first, then rapid, accelerated, gasp- 
ing, slackening again, and arrested in a long pause of 
several seconds, during which all seemed suspended. 

At the end of December, a marked improvement took 
place. On January i, after seeing all his collaborators, 
down to the youngest laboratory attendant, Pasteur received 
the visit of one of his colleagues of the Académie Française. 
It was Alexandre Dumas, carrying a bunch of roses, and 
accompanied by one of his daughters : "I want to begin 
the year well," he said : " I am bringing you my good 
wishes." Pasteur and Alexandre Dumas, meeting at the 
Academy every Thursday for twelve years, felt much 
attraction towards each other. Pasteur, charmed from the 
first by this dazzling and witty intellect, had been surprised 
and touched by the delicate attentions of a heart which 
only opened to a chosen few. Dumas, who had observed 
many men, loved and admired Pasteur, a modest and kindly 
genius ; for this dramatic author hid a man thirsting for 
moral action, his realism was lined with mysticism, and he 
placed the desire to be useful above the hunger for fame. 

309 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

His blue eyes, usually keen and cold, easily detecting secret 
thoughts and looking on them with irony, were full of 
an expression of affectionate veneration when they rested 
on " our dear and great Pasteur " as he called him. 
Alexandre Dumas' visit gave Pasteur very great pleasure ; 
he compared it to a ray of sunshine. 

As he could not go out, those who did not come to see 
him thought him worse than he really was. It was there- 
fore with great surprise that people heard that he would be 
pleased to receive the old Normaliens, who were about to 
celebrate the centenary of their school, and who, after 
putting up a memorial plate on the small laboratory of the 
Rue d'Ulm, desired to visit the Pasteur Institute. They 
filed one after another into the drawing-room on the first 
floor. Pasteur, seated by the fire, seemed to revive the old 
times when he used to welcome young men into his home 
circle on Sunday evenings. He had an affectionate word or 
a smile for each of those who now passed before him, bow- 
ing low. Every one was struck with the keen expression 
of his eyes ; never had the strength of his intellect seemed 
more independent of the weakness of his body. Many 
believed in a speedy recovery and rejoiced. " Your 
health," said some one, " is not only national but universal 
property." 

On that day, Dr. Roux had arranged on tables, in the 
large laboratory, the little flasks which Pasteur had used in 
his experiments on so-called spontaneous generation, which 
had been religiously preserved ; also rows of little tubes 
used for studies on wines ; various preparations in various 
culture media ; microbes and bacilli, so numerous that it 
was difficult to know which to see first. The bacteria 
of diphtheria and bubonic plague completed this museum. 

Pasteur was carried into the laboratory about twelve 
o'clock, and Dr. Roux showed his master the plague bacillus 

310 



I889-I895 

through a microscope. Pasteur, looking at these things, 
souvenirs of his own work and results of his pupils' re- 
searches, thought of those disciples who were continuing 
his task in various parts of the world. In France, he had 
just sent Dr. Calmette to Lille, where he soon afterwards 
created a new and admirable Pasteur Institute. Dr. Yersin 
was continuing his investigations in China. A Normalien, 
M. Le Dantec, who had entered the Ecole at sixteen at the 
head of the list, and who had afterwards become a curator 
at the laboratory, was in Brazil, studying yellow fever, of 
which he very nearly died. Dr. Adrien Loir, after a pro- 
tracted mission in Australia, was head of a Pasteur Insti- 
tute at Tunis. Dr. Nicolle was setting up a laboratory of 
bacteriology at Constantinople. " There is still a great deal 
to do!" sighed Pasteur as he affectionately pressed Dr. 
Roux' hand. 

He was more than ever full of a desire to allay human 
suffering, of a humanitarian sentiment which made of him 
a citizen of the world. But his love for France was in no 
wise diminished, and the permanence of his patriotic feel- 
ings was, soon after this, revealed by an incident. The 
Berlin Academy of Sciences was preparing a list of illus- 
trious contemporary scientists to be submitted to the Kaiser 
with a view to conferring on them the badge of the Order of 
Merit. As Pasteur's protest and return of his diploma to 
the Bonn University had not been forgotten, the Berlin 
Academy, before placing his name on the list, desired to 
know whether he would accept this distinction at the hands 
of the German Emperor. Pasteur, while acknowledging 
with courteous thanks the honour done to him as a scientist, 
declared that he could not accept it. 

For him, as for Victor Hugo, the question of Alsace- 
Lorraine was a question of humanity ; the right of peoples 
to dispose of themselves was in question. And by a bitter 

311 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

irony of fate, France, which had proclaimed this principle 
all over Europe, saw Alsace torn away from her. And by 
whom ? by the very nation whom she had looked upon as 
the most idealistic, with whom she had desired an alliance 
in a noble hope of pacific civilization, a hope shared by 
Humboldt, the great German scientist. 

It was obvious to those who came near Pasteur that, in 
spite of the regret caused in him by the decrease of his 
physical strength, his moral energy remained unimpaired. 
He never complained of the state of his health, and usually 
avoided speaking of himself. A little tent had been put up 
for him in the new garden of the Pasteur Institute, under 
the young chestnuts, the flowers of which were now 
beginning to fall, and he often spent his afternoons there. 
One or other of those who had watched over him through 
the long winter nights frequently came to talk with him, 
and he would inquire, with all his old interest, into every 
detail of the work going on. 

His old friend Chappuis, now Honorary Rector of the 
Academy of Dijon, often came to sit with him under this 
tent. Their friendship remained unchanged though it had 
lasted more than fifty years. Their conversation now took 
a yet more exalted turn than in the days of their youth and 
middle age. The dignity of Chappuis' life was almost 
austere, though tempered by a smiling philosophy. 

Pasteur, less pre-occupied than Chappuis by philosophical 
discussions, soared without an effort into the domain of 
spiritual things. Absolute faith in God and in Eternity, 
and a conviction that the power for good given to us in this 
world will be continued beyond it, were feelings which per- 
vaded his whole life ; the virtues of the Gospel had ever 
been present to him. Full of respect for the form of 
religion which had been that of his forefathers, he came to 

312 



I889-I895 

it simply and naturally for spiritual help in these last 
weeks of his life. 

On June 13, he came, for the last time, down the steps of 
the Pasteur Institute, and entered the carriage which was to 
take him to Villeneuve l'Etang. Every one spoke to him 
of this stay as if it were sure to bring him back to health. 
Did he believe it ? Did he try, in his tenderness for those 
around him, to share their hopes ? His face almost bore 
the same expression as when he used to go to Villeneuve 
l'Etang to continue his studies. When the carriage passed 
through Saint Cloud, some of the inhabitants, who had seen 
him pass in former years, saluted him with a mixture of 
emotion and respectful interest. 

At Villeneuve l'Etang, the old stables of the Cent Gardes 
had reverted to their former purpose and were used for 
the preparation of the diphtheria anti-toxin. There were 
about one hundred horses there ; old chargers, sold by the 
military authorities as unfit for further work ; racehorses 
thus ending their days; a few, presents from their owners, 
such as Marshal Canrobert's old horse. 

Pasteur spent those summer weeks in his room or under 
the trees on the lawns of the Park. A few horses had been 
put out to grass, the stables being quite full, and occasion- 
ally came near, looking over their hurdles towards him. 
Pasteur felt a deep thankfulness in watching the busy 
comings and goings of Dr. Roux and his curator, M. Martin, 
and of the veterinary surgeon, M. Prévôt, who was entrusted 
with the bleeding operations and the distribution of the 
flasks of serum. He thought of all that would survive him 
and felt that his weakened hand might now drop the torch 
which had set so many others alight. And, more than 
resigned, he sat peacefully under a beautiful group of 
pines and purple beeches, listening to the readings of 
Mme. Pasteur and of his daughter. They smiled on him 

313 



THE LIFE OF PASTEUR 

with that valiant smile which women know how to keep 
through deepest anguish. 

Biographies interested him as of yore. There was at 
that time a renewal of interest in memories of the First 
Empire ; old letters, memoirs, war anecdotes were being 
published every day. Pasteur never tired of those great 
souvenirs. Many of those stories brought him back to the 
emotions of his youth, but he no longer looked with the 
same eyes on the glory of conquerors. The true guides of 
humanity now seemed to him to be those who gave devoted 
service, not those who ruled by might. After enjoying 
pages full of the thrill of battlefields, Pasteur admired the 
life of a great and good man, St. Vincent de Paul. He 
loved this son of poor peasants, proud to own his humble 
birth before a vainglorious society ; this tutor of a future 
cardinal, who desired to become the chaplain of some un- 
happy convicts ; this priest, who founded the work of the 
Enfants Trouvés^ and who established lay and religious 
alliance over the vast domain of charity. 

Pasteur himself exerted a great and charitable influence. 
The unknown lady who had put at his disposal four scholar- 
ships for young men without means, came to him in August 
and offered him the funds for a Pasteur Hospital, the natural 
outcome, she said, of the Pastorian discoveries. 

Pasteur's strength diminished day by day, he now could 
hardly walk. When he was seated in the Park, his grand- 
children around him suggested young rose trees climbing 
around the trunk of a dying oak. The paralysis was 
increasing, and speech was becoming more and more 
difficult. The eyes alone remained bright and clear ; 
Pasteur was witnessing the ruin of what in him was 
perishable. 

How willingly they would have given a moment of their 
lives to prolong his, those thousands of human beings 

314 



I889-I895 

whose existence had been saved by his methods: sick 
children, women in lying-in hospitals, patients operated 
upon in surgical wards, victims of rabid dogs saved from 
hydrophobia, and so many others protected against the 
infinitesimally small ! But, whilst visions of those living 
beings passed through the minds of his family, it seemed as 
if Pasteur already saw those dead ones who, like him, had 
preserved absolute faith in the Future Life. 

The last week in September he was no longer strong 
enough to leave his bed, his weakness was extreme. On 
September 27, as he was offered a cup of milk : " I can- 
not," he murmured ; his eyes looked around him with an 
unspeakable expression of resignation, love and farewell. 
His head fell back on the pillows, and he slept ; but, after 
this delusive rest, suddenly came the gaspings of agony. 
For twenty-four hours he remained motionless, his eyes 
closed, his body almost entirely paralysed; one of his 
hands rested in that of Mme. Pasteur, the other held a 
crucifix. 

Thus, surrounded by his family and disciples, in this 
room of almost monastic simplicity, on Saturday, 
September 28, 1895, at 4.40 in the afternoon, very 
peacefully, he passed away. 



The End. 



315 



Index 



Abbadie, d', presents medals to 

Pasteur, ii. 295 
AbduFAziz, Sultan, i. 185 
About, Edmond : 
On Pasteur, ii. 210 
On Pasteur's lecture at Sorbonne 

i. 147 
Pamphlet quoted, i. 233 
Académie des Sciences, i. 38 note^ 
105 
During siege of Paris, i, 245 
Académie Française, Pasteur's re- 
ception at, ii. 161 
Aerobes, i. 130 
Agrégation, i. 41 note 
Alais : 

Pasteur goes to, i. 150, 153, 169, 

181, 204, 218 
Statue to J. B. Dumas at, ii. 292 
Alexandria, French mission to, ii. 

204 
Alfort, experiments on sheep at, ii. 

109 
Alsace-Lorraine question, ii. 311 
Amat, Mlle., i. 223 
Anaerobes, i. 130, 290 
Andral, Dr., i. 210 

Advice to Pasteur, ii. 32 
Anglada, work " On Contagion " 

quoted, i. 104 
Anguillulœ, i. 196 
Anthrax (splenic fever, charbon), 
ii. 45 seqq., 91 
Hens and, ii. 59, 71 

Commission on, 72 
Vaccination against, ii. 115, 117 
Experiment, 120, 123, 124, 127, 

138, 190 
Results, ii. 133, 138 



Antirabic inoculation on man, ii. 
249 
Discussion on, ii. 276 
Antivivisection, Virchow on, ii. 143 
Aosta, Duke and Duchess of, i. 185 
Arago, i. 35 ; ii. 175 
On Monge, i. 257 
Speech before Chamber of De- 
puties, ii. 30 
Arbois : 

Pasteur at, i. 8, 9, 236 ; ii. 257, 

280 
Presentation to Pasteur from, ii. 

296 
Prussians at, i. 265 
Arboisian characteristics, i. 1 1 
Arcis-sur-Aube, battle of, i. 5 
Ardèche, i. 42 
Ardouin, Dr., ii. 206 
Aristotle, allusions to hydrophobia, 

ii. 241 
Arsoural, M. d', ii. 74 
Aselli, discoveries through vivi- 
section, ii. 149 
Aspartic acid, i. ']}), 91 
Aspergillus niger, i. 269 
Aubenas, tribute to Pasteur, ii. 167, 

168 
Augier, Emile, i. 230 
Aurillac, testimonial to Pasteur, ii. 
197 

B 

" Baccalauréat," i. 14 and note 
Baciocchi, Princess, leaves Villa 
Vicentina to Prince Im- 
perial, i. 227 
Bagnères-de-Luchon, i. 137 
Balard, lecturer at Ecole Normale, 
i- 37, 38, 41, 72, 76, 131, 
139 



317 



INDEX 



Balard, advice to Pasteur, i. 135 

Appeal to Pasteur, i. 286 

Discovers bromin, i. 42 

Inspector - General of Higher 
Education, i. 190 

On Pasteurs discovery, i. 52 
Bar-sur-Aube, 3rd Regiment at, i. 4 
Barbet Boarding School, i. 13, 15, 

27 
Barbet, M., i. 13, 29 
Barbier, Captain, i. 13 
Barrnel, Dumas' Curator, i. 32 
Bastian, Dr., attacks Pasteur, ii. 

39 seqq. 
Baudrj', Paul, i. 166 
Bazaine at Metz, i. 243 
Beauce, i. 193 note 

Splenic fever in, ii. 45, 70, 80, 119 
Béchamp, theory of fermentation, 

ii. 25 
Béclard, Permanent Secretary of 
Académie de Médecine, 
ii. 113 
On commission on hydrophobia, 
ii. 226 
Beer, Pasteur studies manufacture 

of, i. 273 seqq. 
Béhier, Dr., ii. 14 
Behring discovers antitoxin for 

diphtheria, ii. 303 
Bellaguet, M., i. 179 
Belle, Jeanne, wife of Claude Pas- 
teur, i. 2 
Bellevue, Château, Napoleon and 
William of Prussia meet 
at, i. 239 
Bellotti, M., i. 272 
Berchon, sanitary director, Bor- 
deaux, ii. 153 
Bergeron, Jules : 

Annual Secretary of Académie 

de Médecine, ii. 113 
On Pasteur's treatment of hydro- 
phobia, ii. 262 
Speech at Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 
295 
Bernard Claude, i. 55 : 
At Académie de Médecine, ii. 4 
At Tuileries, i. 202 
Discoveries, i. 176 
Experiment on dog, ii. 146 
Experiments on fermentation, ii. 
74 



Bernard, Claude : 
Illness, i. 175 
Joins in Pasteur's experiments, i. 

135 
Letter to Deville, i. 179 
Letter to Pasteur, i. 178 
On fermentation, i. 104 

— Medicine, ii. 5 

— Pasteur's researches, i. 93, 113 

— Primary causes, ii. 28 

— Vivisection, ii. 148 
Posthumous notes, ii. 74, 84 
Senator, i. 229 

Studies cholera, i. 165 
Bersot, Ernest, quoted on spon- 
taneous generation, i. 120 
Bert, Paul, ii. 74, 199 : 

Classifies Pasteur's work, ii. 200 

Experiments, ii. 53, 222 

On commission on hydrophobia, 

ii. 226 
Speech on Pasteur's discoveries, 
ii. 30 
Berthelot, M. : 

Consulted by Pasteur, ii. 282 
On alcoholic fermentation, ii. 83 
BerthoUet, M., ii. 34, 175 

Discoveries, i. 256 
Bertillon, candidate for Académie 

de Médecine, ii. 4 
Bertin, M., ii. 173 
At Ecole Normale, i. 25, 190, 211, 

236, 247 
Character, i. 60, 190 
Professor of Physics, Strasburg, 

i-59 
Welcomes Pasteur to Paris, i. 279 
Bertrand, Joseph : 

Letter to Pasteur, i. 180 

Sketch of, ii. 255 

Speech at inauguration of Pasteur 

Institute, ii. 285 
Speech at Pasteur jubilee, ii. 295 
Berzelius, i. 257 

Studies paratartaric acid, i. 33 
Theories of fermentation, i. 104 ; 
ii. 25 
Besançon, Jean Henri Pasteur at, 

i. 3, 5 
Besson, candidature for senate, ii. 

34 
Beust, Baron von, superintendent 
of factories, i. 85 



318 



INDEX 



Bigo manufactures beetroot alco- 
hol, i. I02 
Biot, J. J., i. 35, 55, 71, 76, 268 

At Pouilly le Fort, experiment, ii. 
123, 127 

Attitude towards spontaneous 
generation, i. 115, 130 

Death, i. 132, 134 

Interview with Pasteur, i. 53 

Last letter, i. 135 

Letters to Joseph Pasteur, i. 74, 
92, 106 

Letter to Louis Pasteur, i. ']'] 

Oldest member of Institute, i. 

. ^°5 
Passion for reading, i. 116 
Praises Pasteur, i. 71 
Bischoffsheim, Raphael, lends villa 

to Pasteur, ii. 275 
Bismarck, Prince : 

Armistice with France, i. 254 
Interview with Jules Favre, i. 

242 
On Napoleon III., i. 238 
Blondeau, registrar of mortgages, 

i. 17 
Bollène, Pasteur at, ii. 180 
Bonaparte, Elisa, at Villa Vicen- 

tina, i. 227 
Bonn, sous-préfecture^ i. 248 

University, i. 248 
Bonnat, portrait of Pasteur, ii. 283 
Bordeaux, Pasteur at, ii. 151 
Bordighera : 

Earthquake at, ii. 279 
Pasteur at, ii. 275 
Borrel attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Bouchardat, M, : 

On Commission of Hygiene, i. 

244 
Report on remedies for hydro- 
phobia, ii. 243 
Bouillaud, Dr., ii. 9, 51, 94 
BouilHer, M. F., Director of Ecole 

Normale, i. 190, 236 
Bouley, H., ii. 55, 72, 131, 173 
At experiment on earthworms, ii. 

106 
Chairman of Commission on 
Hydrophobia, ii. 226, 227, 
228 
Report, ii. 229 
Death, ii. 262 



Bouley, H. : 

Letters to Pasteur, ii. 132, 139 

— on Colin, ii. 127 

— germ of hydrophobia, ii. 220 

— methods of Delafond and 

Pasteur, ii. 68 

— microbes, ii. 187, 189 

— Pasteur's treatment of hydro- 

phobia, ii. 261 
— remedies for hydrophobia, ii. 

243 

— virulence of bacteridia, ii. 116 

Sketch of, ii. 51 

Statistics of death from hydro- 
phobia, ii. 267 
Vaccinates sheep against anthrax, 
ii. 109 
Bourbaki, General : 
Death, i. 253 

Retreat of Army Corps, i. 252 
Bourboulon, Commandant, gives 
Pasteur news of his son, 
i. 254 
Bourgeois, Philibert, i. 3 
Bourrel sends dogs to laboratory, 

ii. 219, 227 
Boussingault, M., ii. 173 
Boutel, veterinary surgeon, ii. 50, 
80, 139 
On splenic fever, ii, 70 
Report on vaccinated sheep, ii. 
184 
Boutroux, curator in Pasteur's 

laboratory, ii. 43 
Boyle, Robert, on fermentation, ii. 

1,2 
Brand, Dr., treatment of typhoid, ii. 

185 
Breithaupt, Professor of Minera- 
logy, i. 85 
Bretonneau, on diphtheria, ii. 300 
Brie cattle suffer from anthrax, ii. 

45, 119 , . 

Brochin, candidate for Académie 

de Médecine, ii. 4 
Brongniart, Alexandre, i. 55 

On commission on spontaneous 
generation, i. 139 
Brouardel, Professor : 

On antirabic cure, ii. 276, 281 
Speech at Congress of Hygiene, 

ii. 292 
Speech at Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 296 



319 



INDEX 



Broussais, surgery under, ii. 17 
Bruce, Mrs., presents Pasteur with 
Life of Livingstone, ii. 
218 
Buda-Pesth, Hygiene and Demo- 
graphy Congress at, ii. 

304 

Budberg, M . de, Russian Ambassa- 
dor, i. 166 

Budin and antisepsis, ii. 89 

Bufifon, theory of spontaneous 
generation, i. 118 

Buonanni, recipe for producing 
worms, i. 116 

Butyric fermentation, i. 129 



Cagniard-Latour studies yeast, 103, 

105 
Cailletet invents apparatus for 
liquefaction of gases, ii. 
211 
Cairo, cholera at, ii. 204 
Calmette, Edouard : 
At Lille, ii. 311 
At Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 294 
Attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Cambon, Governor - General of 
Algeria, letter to Pasteur, 
ii. 298 
Cardaillac, M. de, i. 214 
Cardinal cultivates silkworms, i. 

181 
Carnot, President, ii. 34 
At inauguration of Pasteur In- 
stitute, ii. 284 
At Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 294 
Caro, deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 211 
Casablanca, Comte de, i. 221, 222 
Celsus on hydrophobia, ii. 241, 243 
Chaffois, i. 253, 254 
Chaillon collaborates with Roux, 

. ii. 303 
Chamalière's brewery, i. 273 
Chamberland, M. : 
At Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 294 
Collaborates with Pasteur, ii. 
50, 60, 63, 79,87, 105, 107, 
109, III, 116, 123, 126, 
128, 179, 257, 263 
Cross of Legion of Honour, ii. 
136 



Chamberland, M. : 

On Pasteur's early researches, ii 

290 
Vaccinations against anthrax, ii. 
284 
Chambéry, Pasteur at, i. 171] 
Chamecin, wood merchant, i. 3 
Chamonix, Pasteur at, i. 126 
Chantemesse, Dr. : 

Attends on Pasteur, ii. 308, 309 
On antirabic cure, ii. 276 
Performs inoculations, ii. 274 
Chanzy, General, open letter, i. 250 
Chappuis, Charles, i. 42 
Letter to Pasteur, i. 26 
On national testimonial to Pas- 
teur, ii. 31 
Sketch of, i. 24 
Visits Pasteur, ii. 312 
Chaptal, discoveries of, i. 256 
Charbon. {See anthrax) 
Charcot on Pasteur's antirabic cure, 

ii. 281 
Charrière, schoolfellow of Louis 

Pasteur, i. 9, 47 
Charrin, Dr., performs inoculations, 

ii. 274 
Chartres : 

Experiment on vaccination 
against anthrax near, ii. 
13S 
Pasteur at, ii. 80, 105 
Scientific congress at, ii. 70 
Chassaignac, Dr., on '"' laboratory 

surger}'," ii. 8 
Chauveau on contagion, ii. 188 
Chemists and Physicians, ii. 3, 14 
Chevreul, M., i. 76 

On siege of Paris, i. 247, 248 
Chicken cholera, ii. 97 seqq. 
Chiozza, letter to Pasteur, i. 263 
Cholera, i. 165 

At Damietta and Cairo, ii. 204 
Christen, town councillor at Vau- 

cresson, ii. 240 
Christophle, speech at inauguration 
of Pasteur Institute, ii. 286 
Clermont Ferraud, Pasteur at, i. 271 
Clouet invents system of manu- 
facturing steel, i. 256 
Cohleniz, prefecture, i. 248 
Cochin, Denys, at Pasteur Jubilee 
ii. 294 



320 



INDEX 



Colin, Professor G., ii. 71, 72 
Advice to Biot, ii. 126 
Experiments on anthrax, ii, 54, 59 
Collège de France, i. 53 note, 192 
Compiègne, Pasteur at, i. 165 
Comte, Auguste, i. 162, 164 

Doctrine, ii. 157 
Conseil général de département, i. 

lor note 
Contagious diseases, problem of, ii. 

I segq. 
Conti, Napoleon Ill's secretary, i. 

201 
Copenhagen Medical Congress, 

Pasteur at, ii. 230 
Coquelin : 
Acts in Plaideurs, i. 167 
Recites at Trocadéro fête, ii. 272 
Cornil, on acarus of itch, ii. 189 
Coulon, schoolfellow of Louis Pas- 
teur, i. 9, 47 
Cribier, Mme., i. 211 
Cuisance River, i. 8, 9, 237 
Cuvier, ii. 175 

D 

Daguerre, national testimonial to, 

ii. 30 
Dalimier, Paul, Pasteur's advice to, 

i- 143 
Dalloz, editor of Moniteur, i. 201 
Damietta, cholera at, ii. 204 
Darboux, " doyen " of Faculty of 

Science, i. 41 
Daremberg, Dr., on Pasteur at 
Medical Congress, ii. 143 
Darlay as science master, i. 18 
Darwin : 

On earthworms, ii. 106 
On vivisection, ii. 149 
Dastre, M., ii. 74 
Daubrée, speech at Pasteur Jubilee, 

ii. 295 
Daunas, sketch of, i. 18 
David, Jeanne, wife of Denis Pas- 
teur, i. I 
Davaine, Dr. C, ii. 64, 72, 173 
At experiment on earthworms, 

ii. 106 
Experiments on septicaemia, ii. 

8,56 
On butyric ferment, ii. 7, 46 



Davy, Sir H., i. 257 
Debray, M., ii. 137 
Déclat, Dr., on Pasteur's experi- 
ments, ii. I 
Prescribes carbolic solution 
for wounds, ii. 22 
Delafond, Dr. : 

On charbon blood, ii. 46 
Studies anthrax, ii. 68 
Delafosse, Professor of Mineralogy, 

i- 43, 47 
Delaunay acts in Plaideurs, 1. 167 
Delesse, Professor of Science at 

Besançon, i. 58 
Delort, General Baron, i. 39 

Native of Arbois, i. 266 
Demarquay, Dr., prescribes carbolic 
solution for wounds, ii. 22 
Demark, King and Queen of, at 
Medical Congress, ii. 230 
Denouvilliers, surgery under, ii. 17 
Départements, i. 67 note 
Descartes in Holland, i, 263 
Despeyroux, Professor of Chem- 
istry, i. 225 
Dessaignes, chemist, i. 91 
Deville, Henri Sainte Claire, i. 55, 
58, 179. 211 :— 
Admiration for Pasteur's pre- 
cision, ii. 85 
At Compiègne, i. 214 
At Tuileries, i. 202 
Character, i. 191 

Congratulates Pasteur on Testi- 
monial, ii. 31 
Death, ii. 136 
Laboratory, i. no 
Letter to Mme. Pasteur, i. 229 
On Académie and Science, i. 258 
On Commission of Hygiene, i. 244 
Scientific mission in Germany, i. 

235 
Studies cholera, i. 165 

Devise, speech at Pasteur Jubilee, 
ii. 296 

Diabetes, i. 176 

Diderot on spontaneous generation, 
i. 117 

Didon, gratitude to Pasteur, i. 189, 
211 

Dieffenback, M., ii. 146 

Dieulafoy, Professor, attends Pas- 
teur, ii. 309 



VOL. II. 



321 



INDEX 



Diphtheria, ii. 300 

Statistics of mortality, ii. 304 
Disraeli quoted on public health, 

ii. 291 
Dole: 
Jean Joseph Pasteur settles at, i. 7 
Memorial plate on Pasteur's house 

at, ii. 201 
Presentation to Pasteur from, ii. 
296 
Douay village, i. i 
Doucet, Camille, on Pasteur's 

speech, ii. 161 
Dresden, Pasteur at, 84 
Droz, Joseph, his moral doctrine, 

i. 21 
Dubané, Dr., theory on hydro- 
phobia, ii. 223 
Dubois, Alphee, engraves medal 

for Pasteur, ii. 173 
Dubois, Paul, i. 166 

Bust of Pasteur, ii. 233 
Due, Viollet le, i. 166, 167 
Du Camp, Maxime, ii. 162 
Duchartre elected member of 

Académie, i. 131 
Duclaux, M., i. 133, 134, 137, 171, 
181, 222, 224, 268, 270 
Accompanies Pasteur to Milan, 

".35 
Advice to Pasteur, i. 287 
Annals of Pasteur Institute, ii. 

275 
At Pasteur jubilee, ii. 294 
Class of biological chemistry, ii. 

284 
Congratulates Pasteur on testi- 
monial, ii. 31 
On Bastian, ii. 40 
On heating liquids, ii. 43 
Professor of Chemistry at Cler- 
mont-Ferraud, i. 271 
Ducret, Antoine and Charles, shot, 

i. 266 
Ducrot, General, i. 204 
Dujardin-Beaumetz, on antirabic 

cure, ii. 276 
Dumas, Alexandre, i. 139 
Pasteur and, ii. 155 
Visits Pasteur, ii. 309 
Dumas, J. B., ii. 255 
Académie sponsor for Pasteur, 
ii. 158 



Dumas, J. B. : 

Advice to Pasteur, i. 115, 135 

Appreciation of Pasteur, ii. 39 

At Alais, i. 224 

Death, ii. 211 

Interest in sériciculture, i. 150 

La Vie d^un Savant, ii. 2 10 tiote ; 

letter on, 211 
Laboratory, i. 55 
Letter to Bouley, ii. 117 
Letters to Pasteur, i. "]-], 218, 223 
On Académie and Science, i. 258 

— Commission on spontaneous 

generatioiî, i. 139 

— Critical examination, ii. 8$ 

— Destruction of Regnault's in- 

struments, i. 252 

— Fermentation, i. 104 
Presents Pasteur to Napoleon 

III, i. 136 
President of Monetary Com- 
mission, i. 190 
Requests Pasteur for article on 

Lavoisier, i. 159 
Senator, i. 229 
Sketch of, ii. 175 
Sorbonne lecturer, i. 28, 32, 52, 

58, 71, 76 
Speech at Péclet's tomb, ii. 137 
Speech to Pasteur, ii. 173 
Statue at Alais to, ii. 292 
Dumont, Dr., i. 10 
Dupuy, Charles, speech at Pasteur 

Jubilee, ii. 294 
Duran, Carolus, portrait of Pas- 
teur, ii. 283 
Duruy, M., i. 139 
At inauguration of Pasteur In- 
stitute, ii. 284 
At Tuileries, i. 202 
Attitude towards Germany, i. 233 
Letter to Pasteur, i. 183 
Minister of PubHc Instruction, i. 

170 
System of National education, i. 

183 
Visits Pasteur, i. 217 



Earthworms, pathogenic action of, 

ii. 106 
Eastern Army Corps, i. 252, 254 



322 



INDEX 



Ecole Normale^ i. 13 and note^ 202 
An ambulance, i. 236, 247 
Disturbances at, i, 188 
Scie7ttific Annals of,\. 144 
Students enlist, i. 236 
Ecole Polytechnique, i. 50 note, 202 
Edelfeldt, portrait of Pasteur, ii. 

283 
Eggs, researches on alteration of, 

ii. 12 
Ehrenberg, discoveries on in- 

fusories, i. 283 
Electric telegraph, birth of, i. 99 
Elsinore, congress visit, ii. 234 
Emperor of Brazil, interest in Pas- 
teur's experiments, ii. 237 
Empress Eugénie : 
At Bordighera, ii. 279 
Interview with Pasteur, i. 166, 

168 
Regent, i. 238 
Enfants Malades hospital : diph- 
theric treatment at, ii. 303, 

3°4- . . 
English commission on inoculation 

for hydrophobia, ii. 271 
Report, ii. 280 
Erdmann, M., i. 83 
Exhibition reward distribution, i, 

185 



Facilités, i. 41 note 

Falloux, attitude towards liberty of 

teaching, i. 68 
Fauvel, on Pasteur's inductions, ii. 

193 
Favé, General, i. 174, 192, 213, 214 
Favre, Jules, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, i. 239 
Armistice, i. 254 
Interview with Bismarck, i. 242 
" February days," i. 48 note 
Feltz on puerperal fever, ii. 91 
Fermentation, teaching on, i. 103, 
132, 293 ; ii. 24 
Alcoholic, i. Ill, 136, 148; ii. 

83 
Butyric, i. 129, 290 ; ii. 7, 46 
Lactic, i. 108, 284 
of tan, i. 244 
Virus, ii. i seqq. 



Ferrières Château, interview be- 
tween Bismarck and Favre 
at, i. 242 

Fikentscher, obtains racemic acid, 
i. 81 

Fleming, Mr., ii. 271 

On commission on inoculation 
for hydrophobia, ii. 271 

Flesschutt, Dr., i. 171 

Fleys, Dr., proposes toast of 
Pasteur, ii. 198 

Florens, on spontaneous genera- 
tion, i. 138, 139 

Foly, heterogenist, i. 285 

Fontainebleau, Napoleon at, i. J 

Formate of strontian crystals, i. 

65 

Fortoul, Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion, i. 97 

Fouque, M., ii. 137 

Fourcroy, M., ii. 34. 
Discoveries of, i. 256 

Foy, General, works of, i. 240 

Franco-German War, i. 232 seqq. 

Franklin on scientific discovery, 
i. 98 

Frederick III, sketch of, ii. 141 

Frémy, M. : 

On origin of ferments, i. 284, 

287 
Theory of fermentation, ii, 25 

French character, i. 273 



Gadélier, Dr., i. 210 
Gaidot, Father, i. 16 
Gaillard, M. de, ii. 181 
Galen : 
Discoveries through vivisection, 

ii, 148 
Remedy for hydrophobia, ii. 241 
Galtier, experiments on hydropho- 
bia, ii. 223 
Garde Nationale, i. 48 note 
Gardette, M. de la, ii. 181 
Gautier, Théophile, i. 163 
Gay-Lussac, ii. 175 

Lectures at Jardin des Plantes, 

ii. 256. 
Speech before Chambers of Peers, 

ii. 30 
Studies racemic acid, i. 33 



323 



INDEX 



Gayon, researches on alteration of 

eggs, ii. 12 
Geneva Congress of Hygiene, ii. 

177 
Germs, Pasteur's theory of, i. 245. 
Gernez, M., i. 137, 211, 218, 222, 
224, ii. 137 
Centenary of Ecole Normale, i. 

144 
Collaborates with Pasteur, i. 170, 
181, 205, 208 
Gérôme, Knight of Legion of Hon- 
our, i. 1 86 
Gille, Dr., attends Pasteur, ii. 309 
Girard on vineyard labourers and 

Pasteur, ii. 258. 
Girardin, St. Marc, i. 107 
Girod, Henry, Royal Notary of 

Salins, i. 2 
Glenard adopts Brand's treatment 

of typhoid, ii. 185 
Goltz, M. de., Prussian Ambas- 
sador, i. 166. 
Gosselin, Dr., ii. 23 
Got acts in Plaideurs, i. 167. 
Gounod conducts Ave Maria at 

Trocadéro fête, ii. 272 
Gran cher, Dr. : 
Admiration for Pasteur's experi- 
ments, ii. 253, 262 
Advises Pasteur to winter in 

South, ii. 275 
Attends Pasteur, ii. 309 
On antirabic cure, ii. 276 
Pasteur consults, ii. 251 
Performs inoculations, ii. 274. 
Speech at inauguration of Pasteur 
Institute, ii. 285 
Grandean, M., ii 137. 

Letter to Pasteur, ii. 155 
Gravière, Admiral Jurien de la, ii. 

274 
Gréard, deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 

211 

Greece, King and Queen of, at 
Medical Congress, ii. 230 

Grenet, Pasteur's curator, i. 281 

Gressier, M. Minister of Agricul- 
ture, i. 223 

Grévy, Jules, supports Tamisier and 
Thurel, ii. 34. 

Gridaine, Cunin, Minister of Agri- 
culture, ii. 68. 



Gsell, Stéphane, on origin of 

Sériana, ii. 299 
Guérin, Alphonse, on cause of 

purulent infection, ii. 18 
Guérin, Jules, on vaccine, ii. 112 
Guillaume, Eugène, deputy to 

Edinburgh, ii. 212 
Guillemin, M., i. 100 
Schoolfellow of Louis Pasteur, i. 

9- 
Guizot, M. : 

Deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 212 

Quoted on spontaneous genera- 
tion, i. 147 

Welcomes Biot to Académie, i. 
106 
Guyon, Professor : 

Accepts Pasteur's advice, ii. 13 

Attends Pasteur, ii. 309 



H 

Hankel, Professor of Physics at 
Leipzig, i. 83 

Hardy, M., welcomes Pasteur to 
Académie de Médecine, 
ii. 193 

Harvey, discoveries through vivi- 
section, ii. 148 

Hautefeuille, M., ii. 137 

Heated wine, experiments on, i. 
207 

Hemiorganism, i. 284 

Henner, portrait of Pasteur, ii. 283 

Henri IV plants mulberry trees, i. 
151, 227 

Hens and anthrax,. ii. 59, 71 
Commission on, ii. 72 

Héricourt, Dr., ii. 303 
At Villeneuve L'Etang, ii. 291 

Hervé, Edouard, ii. 267 

Heterogenia. {See Spontaneous 
generation) 

Hippocrates, allusions to hydro- 
phobia, ii. 241 

Horsley, Victor, secretary to Com- 
mission on inoculation for 
hydrophobia, ii. 271, 280 

Houssaye, Henry, on ovation to 
Pasteur, ii, 265 

Hugo, Victor, Année Terrible, i, 
251 



324 



INDEX 



Huguenin, portrait of Bonaparte, i. 

237 
Humbert of Italy, Prince, i. 185 
Humboldt, Alexander von, inter- 
view with J. B. Dumas, ii. 

I7S 
Husson, M., i. 229 

Researches on Vaccine, ii. 239 
Huxley on Pasteur's discoveries, ii. 

198, 200 
Hydrophobia : 

Dogs inoculated against, ii. 226 : 

Commission, 226, 245 
English Commission on inocula- 
tion for, ii. 271 
Report, 280 
Experiments on, ii. 125, 184, 210, 

219 seqq., 245, 251, 260. 
Former remedies, ii. 241 
Origin of, ii. 243 
Hygiene, Central Commission, i. 
244 
Hygiene, International Congress 
of, ii. 292. 

I 

Iceland spar, i. 34 
Ingenhousz, i. 131 
Institut de France, i. yj note 

J 

Jacobsen, J. C. founds Carlsberg 

Brewery, ii. 233 
Jacquinet, sub-director of Ecole 
Normale, i. 109, 189, 190 
Jaillard, experiments on anthrax, 

ii. 47, 50 
Jamin, M., ii. 173 

On heterogenist dispute, i. 145 
Jarry Claude, royal notary, i. 2 
Jenner, national rewards to, ii. 199 
Joinville, Prince de, i. 69 and note 
Joly, Nicolas, professor of physio- 
logy, Toulouse, i. 123, 137, 
181 ; ii. 42 
Demands Commission on spon- 
taneous generation, i. 138, 

145 
Lecture at Faculty of Medicine, 
i. 146. 
Jouassin, Mile., acts in Plaideurs^ 
i. 167 



Joubert, professor of physics at 

Collège RoUin, ii. 42, 55, 

60, 63 
Jourdan, Gabrielle, wife of Jean 

Henri Pasteur, i. 3 
Journal de la Médecine et de la 

Chimie quoted, ii. 114 
Joux, forest of, i. i 
Jupille, J. B., bitten by mad dog, ii. 

259, inoculated, 260 



K 

Kaemfen, director of fine arts. Dole, 

ii. 202 
Kestner, produces paratartaric acid, 

i. zz^ 80, 84, 89 
Kitasato, discovers antitoxin for 
diphtheria, ii. 303 
Studies plague, ii. 307 
Klebs, discovers bacillus of diph- 
theria, ii. 301 
Klein, Dr., pneumo-enteritis of 

swine, ii. 183 
Koch, Dr. : 
At Thuillier's funeral, ii. 208 
Campaign against Pasteur, ii. 176, 

178, 179, 184, 185, 189. 
Finds bacillus of tuberculosis, ii. 6 
On bacillus anthracis, ii. 47, 49 
Studies cholera, ii. 206, 210 
Kuhn, Chamalières brewer, i. 273 



Laboratories, i. 54, 1 10, 200 
Lachadenède, M. de, i. 158, 225 
Lactic fermentation, i. 108, 129 
Lagrange, quoted on Lavoisier's 

execution, i. 256 
Lamartine, i. 47 and note 
Lambert, Françoise, wife of Claude 

Etienne Pasteur, i. 3 
Lamy, Auguste, i. 211 
Landouzy, on ambulance ward, 

(1870), ii. 17 
Lannelongue, Dr., ii. 86, 220 
Laplace, M., ii. 175 
Lapparent, M. de, Chairman of 

Commission on wine, i. 

207, 208 



525 



INDEX 



Larrey Baron, ii. 113 

On Jupille and Pasteur's dis- 
covery, ii. 261 
Surgery under, ii. 16, 23 

Laubespin, Comte de, ii. 267 

Lauder-Brunton, Dr., on Commis- 
sion on inoculation for 
hydrophobia, ii. 271 

Laurent, Auguste, i. 71 

Sketch of, i. 42, 44 

Laurent, Madame, i. 62 

Laurent, Maria. {See Pasteur, 
Mme. Louis) 

Laurent, M., Rector of Academy of 
Strasburg, i. 61, 206 
Sketch of, i. 62, 6g 

Lavoisier, death, i. 256 

Edition of his works, i. 160 

Le Bel, studies on stereo-chemistry, 
ii. 290 

Le Dantec, studies on yellow fever 
in Brazil, ii. 311 

Le Roux, Dissertation sur la Rage, 
ii. 241 

Le Verrier, i. 168 noie, i^T. 

Leblanc, statistics of deaths from 
hydrophobia, ii. 268 

Lechartier, M., i. 137 ; ii. 137 

Lefebvre, General, i. 5 

Lefort, Léon : 

On puerperal fever, ii. 88 
Surgery under, ii. 17, 62 

Lefort, Mayor of Arbois, i. 266 

Lemaire, Jules, prescribes carbolic 
solution for wounds, ii, 22 

Lemuy, situation of, i. i 

Leplat, experiments on anthrax, 
ii. 47, 50 

Lereboullet, on anthrax, ii. 62 

Lesseps, Ferdinand de, i. 186 
Deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 211 

Levai Division : 

At Arcis-sur-Aube, i. 5 
At Bar-sur-Aube, i. 4 

Lhéritier, candidate for Académie 
de Médecine, ii. 4 

Liberty of teaching, law on, i. 67 

Liebig : 

Ideas on fermentation, i. 230, 

283, 293 
Interview with Pasteur, i. 231 
Theory of fermentation, i. 104, 
105 ; ii. 25 



Lille : 

Pasteur Dean of Faculté at, i. 97 
Pasteur Institute at, ii. 311 

Lister, Sir Joseph : 
Appreciation of Pasteur, ii. 39 
At Pasteur jubilee, ii. 295 
Letter to Pasteur, ii. 20 
Method of surgery, ii. 21, 22 
On Commission on inoculation 

for hydrophobia, ii. 271 
Surgical method, i. 245, 285 

Littré : 
Medicine and Physicians, ii. 94 
On Microbe, ii 58 
On primary causes, ii. 28 
Sketch of, ii. 156 

Loefifler, isolates bacillus of diph- 
theria, ii. 301 

Loir, Adrien, i. 70, 75 ; ii. 180, 183, 

235 
Dean of Lyons Faculty of Science, 

i. 255 
Head of Pasteur Institute, 
Tunis, ii. 311 
London Medical Congress, Pasteur 

at, ii. 139 
London, Pasteur visits, i. 276. 
London Society for Protection of 
Animals, complaints on 
vivisection, ii. 148 
Longet, Dr., i. 68 

Treatise on Physiology, i. 166. 
Lons-le-Saulnier, i. 252; ii. 34 
Louis XI introduces mulberry tree 

into Touraine, i. 151. 
Louis XVI, i. 225 

Proposal for balloon ascent, ii, 

239 
Lucas-Championnière, Just : 

Edits Jotirnal de la Médecine, 

ii. 114 
On dressing of wounds, ii. 21 
Lycée St. Louis, i. 15, 28, 29 
Lyons Commission on silkworm 

disease, i. 224 
Lyons, Pasteur at, i. 255 

M 
Mac Donald, General, i. S 
Magendie, M. : 

Experiment with rabic blood, ii. 

222 
Interview with Quaker, ii. 146 



326 



INDEX 



Maillot, M. : 
Accompanies Pasteur to Milan, 

ii. 36 
Collaborates with Pasteur, i. 170, 

i8r, 218, 222 
Mairet, Bousson de, sketch of, i, 10 
Maisonneuve, Dr., prescribes car- 
bolic solution for wounds, 

ii. 22 
Malic acid, optical study of, i. 73, 76 
Malus, Etienne Louis, discovers 

polarization of light, i. 35 
Marat, conduct to Lavoisier, i. 256 
Marchoux, attends on Pasteur, ii. 

308 
Marcon, geologist, i. 2ii 
Marie, Dr., attends on Pasteur, ii. 

308 
Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia, 

i. 185 
Marmier, attends on Pasteur, ii. 

308 
Marnoz, Jean Joseph Pasteur at, 

i. 8 
Martin, M. : 
Attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Collaborates with Roux, ii. 303 
Lecture on diphtheria, ii. 305 
Maternité, mortality at, ii. 88 
Mathilde, Princesse, i. 139 

Salon, i. 163 
Maucuer, at Bollène, ii. 180 
Maunoury, M., ii. 80, 106 
Maury, A., i. 179 

Medici, Catherine de, plants mul- 
berry tree in Orléannais, 

i. 151 
Medicine, general condition (1873), 

ii. 5, 15 
Meissonnier, Knight of Legion of 

Honour, i. 186 
Meister, Joseph, ii. 273 
Bitten by mad dog, ii. 249 
Inoculated, ii. 251, 269 
Melun Agricultural Society, tribute 

to Pasteur, ii. 167 
Melun, experiment on vaccination 

of anthrax near, ii. 120, 

123 
Méricourt, Le Roy de, ii. 4 
Méry, on anatomists, ii. 5 
Mesnil, M. du, i. 214 
Attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 



Metchnikoff : 
At Pasteur jubilee, ii. 294 
Directs private laboratories, ii. 

284 
Work on " leucocytes," ii. 307 
Metz surrendered, i. 244 
Meudon, proposed laboratory at, 

ii. 229, 239 
Mézières, mission to Edinburgh, ii. 

212 
Michelet quoted on his friendship 

with Poinsat, i. 23 
Microbe : 

Rossignol on, ii. 119 
Word invented, ii. 57 
Microscope, results of its invention, 

i. 117 
Mièges, near Nozeroy, registers of, 

i. I 
Milan Congress of Sériciculture, 

Pasteur at, ii. 35 
Miller, M., i. 85 
Milne, Edwards : 
At Tuileries, i. 202 
On Commission on spontaneous 

generation, i. 139 
Mina, Espoz y, sketch of, i. 4 
Mitscherlich, chemist and crystallo- 

grapher, i. 33, 34 
In Paris, i. 79 

Theory of fermentation, ii. 25 
Moigno, Abbé, on spontaneous 

generation, i. 146 
Molecular dissymmetry, i. 50, 94, 

114, 262 ; ii. 290 
Monge, method of founding can- 
non, i. 256 ; ii. 34 
Monod, Henri, quotes Disraeli on 

public health, ii. 291 
Montaigue quoted on friendship, i. 

24 
Montalembert, attitute towards 

liberty of teaching, i. 68 
Montanvert, i. 126, 137 
Montpellier, Pasteur at, ii. 171 
Montrond, Pasteur at, i. 253 
Moquin-Tandon, on Pasteur's can- 
didature for Académie, i. 

131 
Morax, attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Moreau, Armand, ii. 72, 74 
Moritz, on chicken cholera, ii. 97 
Morveau, Guyton de, i. 256 ; ii. 34 



327 



INDEX 



Mount Poupet, Pasteur climbs, i. 

126 
Mouthe priory, i. i 
Mucors, Raulin's experiments on, 

i. 269 
Mulberry tree, i. 151 
Musset, Charles, i. 137, 285 ; ii. 42 
Demands Commission on spon- 
taneous generation, i. 138 
Neiv Experimental Researches on 
Heterogenia, i. 123 
Mussy, Dr. Henry Gueneau de : 
Congratulates Pasteur, ii. 150 
Deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 212 
Paper on contagium germ, ii. 53 
Mussy, Dr. Noël Gueneau de, i. 

210 
Mycoderma, i. 131, 132, 167 
Mycodenna acetic i. 195, 283, 284 ; 

ii. 10 
Mycoderma vint, i. 
ii. II 



N 



287, 2i 



Napoleon I : 
At Fontainebleau, i. 5 
Respect for science, i. 257 
Restores silk industry, i. 152 

Napoleon III : 
Distributes exhibition rewards, i. 

185 
Grants laboratory to Pasteur, i. 

193 
Interest in sériciculture, i. 168, 

174, 229 
Interview with Pasteur, i. 136 
Invites Pasteur to Compiègne, i. 

165 
Leaves Sedan and Paris, i. 238 
Letter on Pasteur's laboratory, i. 

214 
Summons scientists to Tuileries, 
i. 202 
Napoleon, Prince, interviews with 

Pasteur, ii. 279 
National Testimonials, ii. 30 
Naumann, Dr. Maurice, i. 259 
Professor of mineralogy, i. 83 
Needham, partisan of spontaneous 

generation, i. 118 
Neaton, on surgery (1870), ii. 18 
Ney, General, i. 5 



Nicolle, Dr., laboratory of bacteri- 
ology at Constantinople, 
ii. 311 
Niepce, national testimonial to, ii. 

30 
Nîmes, Pasteur at, ii. 170, 172 
N isard, Professor : 
Académie sponsor for Pasteur, ii. 

158 
Director of Ecole Normale, i. 109, 

188 
Letters to Pasteur, i. 156 ; ii. 105 
Sketch of, ii. 159 
Nocard, M., ii. no 

Goes to Alexandria, ii. 205 
On hydrophobia, ii. 236, 244 



O 

Oersted and modem telegraph, i. 99 
" Ordonnances," i. 1 1 and note 
Orleans, Pasteur lectures on vinegar 

at, i. 194 
Oudinot, General, i. 5 
Ovariotomy, fatal results of, ii. 16 



Pages, Dr., Mayor of Alais, i. 158, 

226 
Paget, Sir James : 

At Copenhagen Medical Con- 
gress, ii. 230 
President of Commission on ino- 
culation for hydrophobia, 
ii. 271 
Speech at Medical Congress, ii. 
140 
Paillerols, near Digne, i. 223 
Panum, President of Copenhagen 
Medical Congress, ii. 230 
Parandier, M., i. 56 
Paratartaric {racemic) acid, i. 33, 
50, 54, 80 
Pasteur in search of, i. 81 segg. 
Pareau, mayor of Arbois, i. 17 
Parien, M. de. Minister of Public 

Instruction, i. 69 
Paris : 

Bombarded, i. 247 
Capitulation, i. 254 
Prepares for siege, i. 239 



328 



INDEX 



Parmentier on potato, i. 225 
Pasteur, Camille, i. 156, 158, 161 
Pasteur, Cécile, i. 171 
Pasteur, Claude, i. i 

Marriage contract, i. 2 
Pasteur, Claude Etienne, i. 2 

Enfranchised, i. 3 
Pasteur, Denis, marries Jeanne 

David, i. i 
Pasteur Hospital, project for, ii. 

314 
Pasteur Institute : 

Annals of, ii. 275, 277, 306 

Founded, ii. 268 

Inauguration, ii. 284 

Scholarships, ii. 299 

Trocadero fête for, 272 
Pasteur, Jean Henri, at Besançon, 

i. 3 
Pasteur, Jean Joseph, i. 3, 66 

Character, i. 9, 30, 75 

Conscript, i. 3 

Death, i. 154 

In Paris, i. 16, 74 

Marriage, i. 7 

Sergeant-major, i. 5 

Studies, i. 39 
Pasteur, Jeanne, death of, i. 112, 

154 
Pasteur, Josephine, i. 23, 39, 66 
Pasteur, Louis : 
Administration of Ecole Nor- 
male, i. 109, 143, 187 
Advice to Paul Dalimier, i. 143 
Advice to Raulin, i. 268 
Article on Claude Bernard's 
works, i. 175 

— indifference of public authori- 

ties, i. 199 

— Lavoisier, i. 159, 161 

At Arbois, i. 9, 236 ; ii. 257, 280 

— Besançon Royal College, i. 

18 seqg. 

— Bordeaux, ii. 153 

— Compiègne, i. 166 

— Copenhagen Medical Con- 

gress, ii. 230 
Speech, 231 

— Geneva Congress of Hygiene, 

ii. 177 

— London Medical Congress, ii. 

139 
Lecture, 142, 150 



Pasteur, Louis {continued) : 
At Milan Congress of Séricicul- 
ture, ii. 35 
Speech, 37 

— Villa Vicentina, i. 228 

— Villeneuve l'Etang, ii. 3^3 
Birth, i. 7 

Candidate for Academy of 
Science, i. 105, 130 

Candidature for Senate, ii. 33 

Characteristics, i. 12, 13, 15, 20, 
30, 32, 42, 7^, 198 ; ii. 2, 
32, 39, 95, 134, 312 

Chemistry and Physics theses, 
i. 44 _ 

Consulted on inoculation for 
peripneumonia, ii. 167 

Criticism of Bernard's posthu- 
mous notes, ii. 76, 84 

Curator in Balard's Laboratory, 
i. 42 

Crystallographic researches, i. 33, 
50, 74, 78, ; ii. 290 
Lecture on, i. 133 

Dean of Lille Faculté, i. 97 ; ii- 

35 
Death, ii. 315 
Delegation to, ii. 173 
Deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 211 

Speech, 215 
Discovers constitution of para- 

tartaric acid, i. 51 
Discussion with Bastian, ii. 41 
Dispute with Rammelsberg, i. 

133 
Experiments on atmospheric air, 

i. 122 seqq. 
Friendship for Charles Chappuis, 

i. 24, 26, 29 
Grand Cross of Legion of Honour, 

ii. 13s 
His masters, i. 190 ; ii. 39 
His name given to district in 

Canada and to village in 

Algeria, ii. 298 
His teaching, i. 99, 102 
Illness, ii. 275, 282, 292, 307, 314 

Watchers, 308, 312 
In hospitals, ii. 86, 89 

— London, i. 276 

— Paris, i. 14, 27, 73 

— Strasburg, i. 59, 232 
Influence of his labours, ii. 290 



329 



INDEX 



Pasteur, Louis {continued) : 
Influence of Oxygen on Develop- 
ment of Yeast, i. 291 
Interview with Biot, i. 53 

— Liebig, i. 231 

— Mitscherlich and Rose, i. 79 

— Napoleon III, i. 136, 168 
Jubilee celebration, ii. 293 

Speech, 296 
Knight of Legion of Honour, i. 

91 
Laboratory (new), i. 206, 213, 

216, 255 ; ii. 13, 290 
Lauréat of Exhibition, i. 184 
Lecture on germ theory, ii. 64 
Lectures on vinegar at Orleans, 

i. 194 
Letters, i. 31, 36 

On experiment at Pouilly le 

Fort, ii. 129, 132 
To Bellotti, i. 272 

— Chappuis on Lille Faculty, 

i. 100 

— Dumas, i. 184, 219 ; ii. 36 

— Duruy, i. 172 

— Emperor of Brazil, ii. 237 

— Jupille, ii. 266 

— Laurent, i. 63 

— Napoleon III, i. 192 

— Raulin, i. 261 

— Sainte Beuve, i. 164 
M.D. of Bonn, i. 204 

Returns diploma, i. 248, 249, 
259 

Marks of gratitude from agri- 
culturists, ii. 196 

Marriage, i. 66 

Medal from Society of French 
Agricultors, ii. 117 

Member of Académie de Méde- 
cine, ii. 4 
Speech, 25, 26, 27 

— Académie des Sciences, i. 

134 ; ii. 64 

— Académie Française, ii. 155, 

i6i 
Memorial plate on house at Dole, 

ii. 201 
National Testimonial, ii. 30 
Obtains racemic acid, i. 90 
Offered professorship at Pisa, i. 

263 
On chicken cholera, ii. 99, m 



Pasteur, Louis {continued) : 

On Littré and Positivism, ii. 156 

— Science and religion, ii. 28 

— Scientific supremacy of 

France, i. 257 

— Vaccine, ii. 113, 115 

of Anthrax, ii. 115, 117 

— Experiment, 120, 123, 124, 

127, 131, 190 
Results, 133 
Paper on Plague, ii. 102 
Paralytic stroke, i. 210 ; ii. 282 
Pastel drawings, i. 16, 27 
Pension augmented, ii. 199 
Permanent Secretary of Acadé- 
mie des Sciences, ii. 282 
Portraits, ii. 283 
Professor of Chemistry, Stras- 

burg, i. 59 
Professor of Physics at Dijon, i. 

55 
Proposed studies, i. 260 
Refuses German decoration, ii. 

3" 

Reply to Dumas, ii. 174 

" Researches on Dimorphism," 
i. 46 

Researches on spontaneous 
generation, i. 113 seçç., 
28s, 293 ; ii. 72 
Lecture at Sorboune on, i. 139 
Speech on, ii. 26 

Researches on stereo-chemistry, 
ii. 290 

Science's Budget, i. 201 

Scientific Annals of Ecole Nor- 
male, i. 144 

Searches for his son, i. 252 

Solicitude for patients, ii. 253, 
264, 267 

Speech at Aubenas, ii. 169 

Speech at inauguration of Insti- 
tute, ii. 287 

Speech on Deville, ii. 136 

Speech on Joseph Bertrand, ii. 
255,265 

Studies beer, i. 273 seqq., 288 ; 
ii. 9, \z, 78, 82 
Book on, i. 282, 289 ; ii. 152 

— Cholera, i. 165 

— Contagious diseases, ii. 2 seqq. 

— Fermentations, i. 102, 108, 

III, 129, 148 ; ii. 2, 24 



330 



INDEX 



Pasteur, Louis {continued): 

Studies, Hydrophobia, ii. 125, 
184, 210, 219 seqq. 
Inoculates dogs, ii. 226, 245 
Inoculates Joseph Meister, ii. 

Inoculates Jupille, ii. 260 

— Silkworm Disease, \. 153, 156, 

169, 181, 204, 221 

— on Wine, i. 148, 207 ; ii. 78 
Book on, i. 174 

— Rouget of pigs, ii. 180 
Report on, 182 

— Splenic fever, ii. 45, 48, 68, 80 
Travels in search of racemic acid, 

i. 81 seqq. 
Trephines dog, ii. 125 
Turin veterinary school and, ii. 

190, 194 
Vintage tour, i. 137 
Visitors, ii. 257 
Visits Duclaux, i. 271 
Pasteur, Madame Louis, i. 64, 67, 

76, 134, 211, 226; ii. 273, 

308 
Goes to Alais, i. 170. 
Letters to daughter, ii. 125, 129, 

134, 136, 227 
Paul, St, Vincent de, Life of, ii. 

314 
Payen, paper on beer, i. 273 
Pecquet, discoveries through vivi- 
section, ii, 149 
Peers of France, i. 39 7tote 
Pelletier, Louisa, bitten by mad dog, 

ii. 264 
Pellico, Silvio, Miei Przgioni, i. 21 
Pelouze, M., ii. 147 
Pénicillium glaucum, i. 269 ; ii. 1 1 
Perdrix, at Pasteur jubilee, ii. 294 
Perraud, J. J., bust at Mouay to, 

ii. 258 
Perreyve, Henri, on Poland, i, 242 
Perroncito, on microbe of chicken 

cholera, ii. 97 
Perrot, deputy to Edinburgh, ii. 

211 
Persoz, professor of chemistry, 

Strasburg, i. 59 
Peter M. : 

Dispute with Pasteur, ii. 186, 

188, 189, 192, 194 
On antirabic cure, ii. 276 



Philomathic Society, Pasteur Mem- 
ber of, i. 133 
Phthisis, theory of, ii. 6, 7 

Phylloxera, ii. 94 

Physicians, attitude towards 
chemists, ii. 3, 14 

Picard, General, candidature for 
senate, ii. 34 

Pidoux and Trousseau, Traité de 
Thérapeutique, ii, 3 

Pidoux, Dr, : 
On disease, ii, 6 
On tuberculosis, ii. 6 

Pierrefonds Castle restored, i. 167 

Pierron, on Laurent at Riom, i. 
62 

Pinseux, professor of science at 
Besançon, i. 58 

Piorry, Dr. : 

On disease and patient, ii. 54 
On tuberculosis, ii. 8 

Pisa, Pasteur offered professorship 
at, i. 263 

Pitt, on vote to Jenner, ii. 199, 200 

Plague bacillus discovered, ii. 306 

Plague, Pasteur's paper on, ii. 102 

Plaideurs acted at Compiègne, i. 
167 

Plénisette village, i. i 

Pliny the Elder, remedy for hydro- 
phobia, ii. 241 

Poggiale, speech on spontaneous 
generation, ii. 25 

Pointurier, M., i. 16 

Polarization of Hght, i. 35 

Polignac, Cardinal of, Anti-Lucre- 
tius, i. 117 

Poligny, i. 252 

Sous-préfet of, i. 1 1 

Polytechnician, i. 56 note 

Pontarlier, retreat to, i. 253 

Positivist doctrine, ii. 157 

Potatoes, prejudice against, i. 225 

Pottevin, attends on Pasteur, ii. 
308 

Pouchet, M., i. 128, 137, 181, 285 ; 
ii. 42 
Note on Vegetable and Animal 

Proto-organisms , i. X20 
The Universe, i. 283 
Theory of fermentation, ii. 25 

Pouillet, Professor of Physics at 
Sorbonne, i. 35, 37, 56 



331 



INDEX 



Pouilly le Fort, experiment on vac- 
cination of anthrax, ii. 120, 
123, 124, 127, 131 
Results, ii. 133 
Prague, Pasteur at, i. 87 
Prévôt, at Villeneuve l'Etang, ii. 313 
Primary teaching, law on reorgani- 
zation, i. 183 
Prince Iniperial, Villa Vicentina, i. 

227 
Prix de Rome, i. 251 note 
Prix Montyon, i. 22 note 
Provost, acts in Plaideurs, i. 167 
Provostaye, de la, work on crystallo- 
graphy, i. 43, 50 
Prussia, Crown Prince of, i. 185 
Puerperal fever, ii. 88 seqq. 
Putrefaction, i. 136 



Ouain, Dr., on Commission on 
inoculation for hydro- 
phobia, ii. 271 

Quatrefages, essay on history of 
silkworm, i. 151 

Queyrat, attends on Pasteur, ii. 
308 



R 

Rabies and hydrophobia, ii. 244 
Rabies, Commission. {See under 

Hydrophobia) 
Rabourdin, M., ii. 80 
Racemic. {See Paratartaric acid) 
Raibaud-Lange, M., i. 222 
Rammelsberg, dispute with Pasteur, 

i- 133 
Randon, General, i. 219 
Raspail, F. V., researches on 

origin of itch, ii. 199 
Rassmann, Dr., obtains racemic 

acid, i. 87 
Raulin, Jules, i. 121, 169, 211, 218, 

228, 276 
Accompanies Pasteur to Milan, 

"• 35 
Sketch of, i. 268 
Raulin's liquid, i. 270 
Ravaisson, F., i. 179 
Rayer, on charbon blood, ii. 46 



Raynaud, Dr. Maurice, ii. 86 

On hydrophobia, ii. 220 
Reaudin, Auguste, on Lister's 

methods, ii. 22 
Reclus, Dr., on purulent infection, 

ii. 19 
Reculfoz village, i. i 
Redi, Francesco, experiment on 

spontaneous generation, 

i. 116 
Redtenbacher, M., i. 85, 86 
" Regiment Dauphin," i. 5 
Regnault, Henri, i. 65, 76 

Death, i. 251 
Régnier acts in Plaideurs, i, 167 
Renan, E,, i. 179 

On State of France, i. 262 
Quoted from Revue Germanique, 

i. 144 
Sketch of, ii. 164 
Speech to Pasteur on hydropho- 
bia, ii. 219 
Welcomes Pasteur to Académie 

Française, ii. 161 
Renaud, M., i. 9 
Renault, experiments with rabic 

blood, ii. 222 
Rencluse, i. 137 

Renon, attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Répécaud, Headmaster of Royal 

College Besançon, i. 19 
Rhenish provinces, i. 248 
Richet, Dr., ii. 303 
Rigault, lectures at Collège de 

France, i. 107 
Robin, Charles, sketch of, i. 162 
Rochard, Dr., on plague, ii. 103 
Rochette, Baron de la, sketch of, 

ii. 120 
Rochleder, professor of chemistry, 

Prague, i. 87 
Roger, on Pasteur's services, ii. 30 
Rollin College, experiments in labo- 
ratory at, ii. 247, 251, 273 
Romanet, Headmaster of Arbois 

College, i. 12, 17, 38, 47 
Romieu, sketch of, i. 68 
" Rouget" of pigs (swine fever), ii. 

180, 182 
Roqui, Jean Claude, i. 8 
Roqui, Jeanne Etiennette, wife of 

Jean Joseph Pasteur, i. 7, 8 
Death, i. 52 



332 



INDEX 



Roscoe, Sir Henry, on Commission 
on inoculation for hydro- 
phobia, ii. 271 

Rose, G., crystallographer, in 
Paris, i. 7g 

Rossignol, M, : 
Article in Veterinary Press on 

microbe, ii. 119 
Vaccination of sheep against 
anthrax and, ii. 120, 128, 

131 
Rotz, Pasteur medal, ii. 293 
Rouher, at Tuileries, i. 202 
Roux, Dr. : 
Account of Thuillier's death, ii. 

207 
At Pasteur Jubilee, ii. 294 
Attends Pasteur, ii. 308 
Collaborates with Pasteur, ii. 87, 

89, 105, 107,111,123, 125, 

128, 150, 179, 196, 223, 
- 257, 263 
Cross of Legion of Honour, ii. 

136 
Goes to Alexandria, ii. 205 
Inoculates horse with diphtheri- 
tic toxin, ii. 303 
Lectures on diphtheria, ii. 304 
Lectures on technical microlsia, 

ii. 284 
Lecture to London Royal Society, 

ii. 301 
On Pasteur's medical work, ii. 

80 
Performs inoculations, ii. 274 
Sketch of, ii. 14 
Studies diphtheria, ii. 300 
Roziers, Pilâtre de, balloon ascent, 

ii. 239 
Russian mujiks bitten by wolf, ii. 

269 



Saccharimeter, i. 36 

Sadowa, battle of, i. 233 

Sainte Beuve : 

Letters to Pasteur, i. 163, 164 
On Biot's character, i. 73 
Opinion of Joseph Droz, i. 20 
Pasteur attends his lectures, i. 

161 
Philosophy, i. 162 
Speech at Senate, i. 187 



St. Dizier, i. 5 

St. Hippolyte le Fort, i. 218, 229 

St. Victor, Paul de, on Germany, 

i. 247 
Salimbeni, treatise on sériciculture, 

i. 209 
Salins, i. 126 
Claude Etienne Pasteur settles 
at, i. 2 
Sand, Georges, i. 139 
Sandeau, Jules, i. 166 
Sanderson, Professor Burdon, on 
Commission on inoculation 
for hydrophobia, ii. 271 
Sarcey, Francisque, i. 48 
Saussure, Théodore de, i. 131 
Sauton, speech at Pasteur jubilee, 

^ ii. 29s 
Say, Léon, Pasteur's reply to, ii. 

254 
Scheele discovers tartaric acid, i. 33 
Schrotter, Professor, i. 85 
Schwann, Dr., observations on fer- 
mentations, i. 104 
Science and Religion, ii. 28 
Scientists meet at Tuileries, i. 202 
Sedan, i. 238 
Sédillot, Dr. : 

Correspondent of Institute, i. 245 
Sketch of, ii. 56 
Senarmont, M. de, i. 65, 75, 76, 132 
Advice to Pasteur, i. 89 
Confidence in Pasteur, i, 115 
Septicaemia, ii. 8, 15, 52, m, 191 
Sériana village, Algeria, ii. 299 
Sériciculture, i. 1^0 seqq. 
Sero-Therapy. {See Diphtheria) 
Serres, Olivier de, i. 227 
Statue to, ii. 167, 169 
Théâtre d'Agriculture, i. 227 
Treatise on gathering of silk, i. 
151, 156 
Seybel, M., i. 85 
Signol, experiments, ii. 51 
Silkworm disease, i. i^zseqq.^ 182,, 
204, 221 
Lyons Commission on, i. 224 
Simon, Jules, i. 189 ; ii. 254 
At inauguration of Pasteur Insti- 
tute, ii. 284 
On Ecole Normale, i. 30 
Sorbonne, i. 28 note, 192 
Inauguration of new, ii. 292 



333 



INDEX 



Sorbonne {continued) : 
Pasteur Jubilee celebration, ii. 

293 
Spallanzani, Abbé, experiments on 

animaculas, i. 118 
Splenic fever (charbon). {See 

Anthrax) 
Spontaneous generation, i. ii2,seqq., 
285, 293 ; ii. 7, 13, 72 
Commission on, i. 139, 145 
Pasteur's lecture at Sorbonne on, 

i- 139 
Stoffel, Colonel Baron, i. 204 
Strasburg arsenal, i. 235, 243 
Strasburg, Pasteur at, 1. 59, 92 
Strasburg university, i. 248 
Strauss, M. : 

Goes to Alexandria, ii. 205 
On Cholera Commission, ii. 210 
Sully, opposes silk industry, i. 151 
SuUy-Prudhomme, love of France, 

i. 251 
Supt village, i. 2 

Surgery before Pasteur, ii. 15 segg. 
Susani, S., ii. 2)7 
Swine fever. {See Rouget of pigs) 



Talmy, Dr., at Bordeaux, ii. 153 
Tamisier, candidature for Senate, 

ii. 34 
Tamier, Dr., ii. 87 

On puerperal fever, ii. 88 
Tartaric acid, constitution of, i. 33, 

50 
Tautonville brewery, i. 281 
Teaching, law on liberty of, i. 67 
Teaching, law on primary, i. 183 
Terrillon, Dr., ii. 274 
Thenard, Baron, i. 76 ; ii. 175 

Sketch of, i. 58 
Thierry, M., at Pouilly le Fort 

experiment, ii. 123, 126 
Thiers, M. : 

Letter to Pasteur, i. 188 
On bravery of 3rd Regiment, i. 4 
Third Regiment of the Line, i. 4 

" Regiment Dauphin," i. 5 
Thorwaldsen museum, Copen- 
hagen, ii. 235 
Thuillier, Louis, ii. 123 

Collaborates with Pasteur, ii. 177, 
179, 180, 183 



Thuillier, Louis (continued) : 
Death, ii. 207 
Goes to Alexandria, ii. 205 
Studies hydrophobia, ii. 221 

Thurel, candidature for Senate, ii. 

34 
Tisserand, M., ii. 173 

Director of Crown Agricultural 

estabhshments, i. 228 
On Commission on hydrophobia, 
ii. 226 
Toscanelli, S., i. 263, 264 
Toul, on second line of fortifi- 
cations, i. 235 
Tourtel brewery at Tautonville, i. 

281 
Toussaint, professor at Toulouse 
Veterinary School, ii. 55, 
80 
Studies microbe of chicken 

cholera, ii. 98 
Vaccinates sheep against anthrax, 
ii. 109, III 
Traube, Dr., on ammoniacal fer- 
mentation, ii. 13 
Trecul, Dr., ii. 10 

On heterogenesis, i. 285, 287 
Theory of fermentation, ii. 25 
Trélat, Dr., surgeon at Maternité, 
ii. 88 
On Commission of Hygiene, i. 

244 
Trocadéro fête for Pasteur Institute, 

ii. 272 
Troost, M., ii. 137 
Trousseau and Pidoux, Traité de 

Thérapeutique^ ii. 3 
Trousseau, Dr. : 

Lecture on ferments quoted, ii. 9 
On diphtheria, ii. 301 
On puerperal fever, ii. 88 
Tsar, sends Cross of St. Anne of 

Russia to Pasteur, ii. 271 
Tuberculosis, researches on, ii. 6 
Tuileries, scientists meet at, i. 202 
Tunis, Pasteur Institute at, ii. 311 
Turin Veterinary School and Pas- 
teur, ii. 190, 194 
Tyndall, Professor : 

Dusts and Diseases, ii. 22 
Letter to Pasteur, ii. 39 
Typhoid fever, medical methods of 
treating, ii. 185 



334 



INDEX 



U 

Udressier, Claude François, Count 
of, i. I 

Udressier, Philippe Marie Fran- 
çois, Count of, i. 2 

Université, i. 58 note, 203 

University of Edinburgh, Tercen- 
tenary, ii. 211 
Degrees, ii. 213 



Vaccination, ii. loi, 112, 115 
Against anthrax, ii. 116, 117 
Experiment, 120, 123, 124, 127, 

138, 190 
Results, 133 
Against swine fever, ii. 209 
Vaillant, Field-Marshal, i. 186, 221 
At Tuileries, i. 202 
Silkworm nursery, i. 227 
Vallisneri, medical professor of 

Padua, i. 116 
Van Helmont, recipe for producing 

mice, i. 116 
Van T'Hofif, studies on stereo-chem- 
istry, ii. 290 
Van Tieghem, i. 286 ; ii. 13 
Vauquelin, tanning process, i. 37 
Veillon, attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Velpeau : 
On diphtheria, ii. 301 
On pin prick, ii. 15 
Venasque Pass, i. 137 
Vercel, Jules, i. 9, 47, 126, 253 ; ii. 
56 
Accompanies Pasteur to Paris, i. 

13 
Verneuil, M. : 

On antirabic cure, ii. 276 
On surgery (1870), ii. 18 
Vescovato, i. 222 
Veuillot, Louis, i. 48 

On liberty of teaching, i. 68 
Viala, Eugène : 

Attends on Pasteur, ii. 308 
Preparations for inoculations, ii. 

262 
Sketch of, ii. 235 

Vice-President of Agricultural 
Society, Montpellier, ii. 
172 
Vicat, national testimonial to, ii. 30 



Villa Vicentina, lUyria, i. 227 
Villemin, Dr. : 

Advises Pasteur to winter in 

south, ii. 275, 276 
At experiment on earthworms, ii. 

106 
On Commission on hydrophobia, 

ii. 226 
On contagion of tuberculosis, ii. 

189 
Researches on tuberculosis, ii. 
6,7 
Villeneuve l'Etang, branch estab- 
lishment of laboratory at, 
ii. 230, 240, 245 
Stables, ii. 313 
Villers-Farlay, mayor of, writes to 

Pasteur, ii. 258, 259 
Vinegar, Pasteur lectures on manu- 
facture of, i. 194 
Virchow, Professor : 
At Copenhagen Medical Con- 
gress, ii. 231 
At Edinburgh, ii. 214 
On antivivisection, ii. 143 
Virulent Diseases — Chicken Cholera, 

ii. 98 
Virus ferments, ii. i seqq. 
Vivisection : 

Discoveries made through, ii. 148 
Virchow on, ii. 143 
Volta, S., i. 257 
Voltaire : 
Philosophic Dictionary quoted on 

God, i. 120 
Singularities of Nature, i. 119 
Vone, Théodore, consults Pasteur, 

ii. 249 
Vulpian, ii. 72 

Champions Pasteur, ii. 277, 278 

Death, ii. 281 

On Brand's treatment of typhoid, 

ii. 186 
On Commission of hydrophobia, 

ii. 226 
Pasteur consults, ii. 250 
Speech on Pasteur's experiments 
on hydrophobia, ii. 260, 
281 



W 
Wales, Prince of, i. 185 



335 



INDEX 



Wallace, Sir Richard, founds dogs' 

cemetery at Bagatelle, ii. 

246 
Wasserzug, Etienne, interprets for 

Pasteur, ii. 263 
Weber, Dr., advises Mme. Meister 

to consult Pasteur, ii. 249 
William, King of Prussia, meets 

Napoleon, i. 239 
Wine, studies on, i. 148, 207 
Wissemburg, i. 233 
Wolf-bites, statistics of deaths from, 

ii. 270 
Wurtz: 

Laboratory, i. 55 

On Commission of Hygiene, i. 

244 



Yeast, i. 103 

Pasteur's paper on, i. 291 ; ii. 10. 
{See also Fermentation) 
Yellow fever, Pasteur studies, ii. 

150 
Yersin, Dr. : 

Studies diphtheria, ii. 300 
Studies plague in China, ii. 306, 

3" 

Younger, welcomes Pasteur to 
Edinburgh, ii. 212 



Zevort, M,, i. 62, 171 
Zimmern, sous-préfecture, i. 248 



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